On February 25th I attended my first show of 2017 and it was definitely one for the books. I am going to take a look back on this show and give you my honest opinion on my experience. I’m going to break this up into four parts, venue, sets, crowd, and my closing thoughts. Hopefully giving you a good idea of what to expect at upcoming shows.
This show was held at “The World Famous Nile Theater” which is located in Mesa and is extremely easy to find. When you get there you quickly realize how much parking there is. A huge plus for me because I can’t explain to you how infuriating it is to look for parking when you’re super hyped to get on the dance floor. Parking gets a 10/10 from me.
I showed up about an hour before the first headliner was due to play. They have you enter through the back entrance of the venue. Security and will-call were a very smooth process. I’m pretty sure even if you showed up a little later than I did you would get through the process in five minutes or less. It’s always nice to feel safe but also not get TSA’d by the security. Security and will-call get a solid 10/10 from me.
Now let’s talk about one of the best parts about a show, the stage and dance floor. The stage production was absolutely phenomenal, amazing lasers and strobes. For being a medium sized venue they definitely went all out with the lasers. You could look up from anywhere in the venue and get completely mesmerized by the dancing lights above you. The dance floor is actually my most favorite part about this venue. You can really feel the pounding from the bass because this venue has a basement. You really get the feeling that you are standing on a hollow surface which intensifies the feeling of the bass. A really cool and unique feeling you don’t get to experience very often. Altogether this venue gets a stellar 10/10 from me.
Let’s get into the meat and potatoes of the show, the sets. We’ll start with Mr. Eddie Bitar since he was the opening headliner. Going into this show I knew who Eddie Bitar was but I really didn’t know what to expect set wise. I had the fantastic opportunity to meet and talk to him prior to him going up on stage. I must say he’s a very chill and welcoming person to be around. Completely opposite of what his set was like.
Eddie started out with a very appropriate progressive Psy track to get the crowd warmed up. For most of his set, he didn’t stray too far from the progressive Psy and you could tell the crowd was eating it up. Around the last 20 to 30 minutes of his set, he definitely switched it up and started to throw in some Full On. At this point, I was completely sold on Eddie Bitar. He was killing it and I was loving every second of it. Eddie Bitar gets a 9/10 from yours truly.
The Darkboy himself, Will Atkinson is next up. Following Eddie Bitar, he opened with two Psy tracks to keep the tempo smooth. I was actually very surprised to hear Will Atkinson play Psy. I’m a big fan of his and I can’t really recall any sets where he’s done that. After about 2 or 3 Psy tracks he broke into some of the filthiest tech trance ever. At this point in the night, the venue was extremely foggy. From where I was standing all you could see was a shadow of Mr. Atkinson through the fog. It gave the atmosphere a really cool feeling. Half way through his set I realized my head had been down the majority of the set and I was just letting the music control me. I guess that’s why some people call it heads down tech.
One track really blew my mind live was his track “Fresh Meat”. That song is what I call pure insanity live. When I got home I had to replay it on my sound system to see if I could get the same feeling, sadly I couldn’t. That track is like a whole different song on a professional sound system. He ended his set in a very soothing and uplifting way with his vocal track “Mesmerize”. This set will probably go down as one of my most favorite sets to date. Mr. Atkinson gets a 10/10 from me.
Last but definitely not least, Perfect Stranger AKA BLT closed the night out. This set was something like I have never experienced before. For his set they turned all the lights completely off, even the strobes and lasers. It gave the dance floor a very dark and eerie feeling to it. Periodically throughout his set they would flash the stage lights very slowly. It felt as if the stage was an alien spaceship coming to abduct us. It’s everything I wanted from a stage at the end of the night with some amazing Psy being played. It was nice to be able to become one with yourself and the music with no distractions.
Perfect Stranger, for the most part, played his signature sound of techno infused Psytrance. This set to me was probably one of the most unforgettable experiences in my life. I would really like to see this guy make another appearance in the valley, hopefully, sooner than later. I’ve scored everyone high and Perfect Stranger is no different, 10/10 from me.
Let’s talk about the Arizona crowd. Every trance show I have gone to in the valley has always had a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Everyone was dancing and sending good vibes towards the DJs. My only gripe is that about 3/4th of the crowd left after Will
Atkinson. Which is a shame because Perfect Stranger is to most considered a legend in Psytrance. Maybe I am a purist or something but I feel like you should stay from start to finish out of respect. Shout out to the hand full of people that stuck around until the end and chanted for one more song. The crowd gets a 7/10 from me.
I’m going to end this look back on Rock Trance 3.0 with some closing thoughts. This was a great show to kick off my 2017 concert season. I created a lot of memories that I will cherish for a very long time. I am very hopeful that these artists will make another appearance in the valley again to make us party all night. I want to give a shout-out to all the amazing people at Hades, Phoenix Trance Family, and my good friend Woody. Without Woody, there would be a good chance that I wouldn’t be able to create these memories, and I am forever grateful to him.
Photos by: Tony Cottrell Photography
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