Who says Davis isn’t known for much more than its small-town vibes and bicycle-accident-prone college kids who inhabit it? On Tuesday night, one of the world’s most prominent and recognizable DJs took the stage at the UC Davis Pavilion and put Davis on the map and in music history. It is safe to say that DJ Tiësto’s aura still lingers in an aftermath of excitement that won’t leave the town anytime soon.
Porter Robinson, the 19-year old prodigy of electronic dance music, opened the show. With a modest entrance from the side stage and up its steps, Robinson dived straight into his set and got the crowd pumped for the crazy night.
With the music thumping to the sound of Robinson’s beat, it wasn’t difficult for fans to feel the excitement as soon as they entered the Pavilion. Not to mention the sight of Robinson’s name placed largely on the LED screen, which towered above the audience at least 30 feet from the ground up and was more than electrifying.
As fans slowly streamed into the venue during the opening set, Robinson performed songs (“Say My Name”, “Unison (Knife Party)” and “Spitfire” to name a few) from his most recent and unreleased album, Spitfire. Moments where the beats delayed – “the buildup” – got the crowd joined in unison of movement as the beat quickened and urged them to jump in the air with their hands thrown up to the sound of the pounding bass.
The level of energy that Robinson brings is impressive. It’s unbelievable to think that Robinson, who is so young, is producing music that has many of the fans just as enthusiastic about him they are about the headliner, Tiësto.
But of course, the fans were excited to see Tiësto, who hit the stage around 9:25 p.m. The transition from Robinson’s set to Tiësto’s set was simple and easy as the mixing equipment was there and ready to go.
The lighting and visuals on the LED screen began to intensify as Tiësto’s music hit the ears of the listeners and the vibrations of the bass crept underneath the feet of the dancing crowd. By now, the Pavilion was fully packed. Tiësto was on stage.
Tiësto played his famous hits, such as “Escape Me” and Swedish House Mafia’s “Save the World Tonight”, which was well-received by the crowd. Other notable moments were of Imogen Heap’s “Hide N Seek” and Oasis’ “Wonderwall” remixes. These tracks allowed fans to catch their breath, while teasing them with the anticipation of what was to come after the dive: the sheer power of the song’s beat, tremor and sound.
The show ended around 11:30 p.m., which was half an hour before anticipated. However, Tiësto’s loyal fans were dripping with adrenaline by the end and were fully pleased. With a few girls in their bright small garments bending over the bathroom sink trying to grab a drink of water and guys who seem to have lost their shirts during the course of the night, Davis proved to have had its biggest party of the year.
The electronic dance music culture is one that is unique and is of a growing force. It’s a pretty powerful thing when you realize that this kind of music – one that is composed of so few lyrics – is able to move and stir large, unique and varying demographics around the world. And with Tiësto’s talent of music production and translating music live, he is lighting a spark to an underground subculture that will continue to ignite worldwide and impact the music industry.
UYEN CAO can be reached at email@example.com.