Event The Dutch DJ had Bangaloreans grooving to his signature brand of vocal infused House as part of his three-city tour

More than 10,000 Electronic Dance Music fans found their way to Bhartiya City on Saturday to catch the Sunburn Arena Festival featuring Tiesto’s three-city tour of India. By the time the city’s resident jock Rohit Barker was ready to wind up his set, the crowd was well warmed up for the frenzy to follow. “Where’s that Bangalore energy?” and the crowd affirms its omnipresence with a deafening roar. When the Dutch-born DJ finally took his spot centre-stage, the master levels feeding the 100,000 watts of speakers notched up and the 2000 square feet of LED screens came alive with blinding visuals.

Ranked by Forbes as the highest paid DJ in the world, with an income to the tune of $22 million a year, 44-year-old Tiesto has been on the circuit since the days before the form was even considered an art. When asked what he has to say to those who still care to draw a distinction between musicians and DJs, he simply shrugs, noting, “We play music.” Having shifted from his heavier, progressive trance of 10 years ago towards groovier, vocal-infused house, Tiesto swears by social media networks for having aided his mainstream success. “Bangalore! Are you having fun?” The thundering collective replies, ‘yeah!’

A knob triggers an amplified balloon rub. “I know that song,” a girl screams, and the crowd starts singing along to Florence and the Machines’ ‘Sweet Nothing.’ Familiar tunes drive the rhythm in, until beats slip in, calling the throng into submission; it’s willing suspension on a mass scale. They draws pattern in the air and brace the track up by palming the sky as speeding beats trip and splinter into drops that pick themselves up for the next build and so forth.

However, with his crowd-pleasing duties behind him, the last bit of his set was devoted to something for the trance purist. Topping that off with hits like ‘Maximal Crazy’ and ‘Welcome to Ibiza’ really got the crowd going berserk.

The event was organized by Percept Ltd., which has in the recent past brought down some of the biggest names in EDM including Swedish House Mafia, Afrojack and David Guetta.

Though the highly priced ticket narrows the fan base that makes it to such an event, the ‘Sunburn Social Movement,’ centered on the Goa-based festival that rates among the top 10 EDM events in the world, is picking up, perpetuating creative freedom and expression, governed by the chant ‘Live, Love and Dance.’

The expressive Bangalore crowd, sporting hats, wigs and fancy attires, catch glimpses of each other ‘going crazy,’ united by the energetic pulse of the music.

Tiesto throws his signature headphones to a crewmember, fiddling with the track one last time. “We’ll be coming back for you one day,” the screen says. And then, in a moment that evades notice, he steps back and disappears into the smoke and the waiting cars and other scenes.

KARTHIK VARMA

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