For the first time in 2012, the Top 100 DJs Awards took its big-roomed bombast across the Atlantic to the US, spanning multiple time zones and multiple parties, whilst championing the people’s choice for No.1.
When this year’s winner, Armin Van Buuren,reclaimed the title from David Guetta to take the title for the fifth time, we knew it was going to be extra special, considering the fevered support that he’d received over the previous 12 months.
After rammed events in London and Amsterdam,DJ Mag hit his show in New York City beforeboarding a plane to the new EDM playground ofAmerica: Las Vegas. No stranger to the westerly city of vices and indiscretion, we arrived knowing that Armin’s appearance at Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub on Halloween weekend was going to be nothing short of epic.
After dropping our bags off in a lush room high up in the Cosmopolitan, we wind our way through the swarms of costumed gamblers on the hotel’s first floor to the growing crowd in front of Marquee’s various roped off entryways. The security guards,dressed up as well, wave us through to where we pass a sign saying ‘Kansas’. Walking by into an eerily-lit lift, where photos of a familiar-looking wicked witch wink back at us evilly, we immediately guess tonight’s Halloween theme as we head up and into the wonderful, wicked world of the Wizard Of Oz... Vegas-style.
We’re let off, via the enthusiastic elevator operator, into one of the many corridors surrounding the impressive main room of Marquee. Thankfully we get a spot up on the balcony, which provides perfect views of the spectacles of Halloween and Marquee combined into a spooky, over-the-top experience!
German mainstay ATB is already busy warming up the multi-leveled room of naughty devils, scandalous nurses, ghoulish guys and Where’s Wally amongst the thousands of costumes on display. Our picks for best in show go to the Tony The Tiger and an appropriately themed Yellow Brick Road, which conjures up memories of Pyramus and Thisbe’s humorous Wall as portrayed in Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Above the DJ booth, a Tin Man and duo of L.Frank Baum’s freakish flying monkeys are dancing away in character. Spooky mobiles dangle from the ceiling, depicting debris from the famous cyclone that whisked Dorothy up and into the heavens in the first place. Needless to say, we are suitably impressed by the décor and attention to detail with tonight’s themed party.
Back to the music, though! ATB is playing an energetic set punctuated with live vocals on a few of his own productions like ‘Move On’ and ‘Could You Believe’. Tracks from Band Of Horses, Marcus Schössow & Red Carpet, and a rather questionable mash-up of Nirvana and Blur, garner some good responses as well. When the music stops, ATB answers to the growing shouting of his name by playing ‘Still Here’ and ‘Ecstasy’ back-to-back as the chants start to come for Armin van Buuren.
An announcement comes on, explaining the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Award, whilst our logo flashes across the LED screens. The winning Dutchman bounds on-stage grinning from ear-to-ear, launching straight into his edit of Andrew Rayel’s ‘How Do I Know?’ He keeps the energy high for the next two hours, playing a mixture of his own tracks across four CDJs, as well as those of contemporaries such as Ferry Corsten, Skytech and even Band Of Horses.
When he finally stops playing, after a Halloween-inspired track that includes some of the spooky dialogue from MJ’s ‘Thriller’, the still-rammed dancefloor explodes into applause and chants for one more tune. Armin thanks everyone profusely, and wishes everyone a happy Halloween, before launching into Avicii’s remix of Coldplay’s ‘Every Drop Is A Waterfall’ and Porter Robinson’s ‘Language’ as his set closers.
All good things must come to an end, and as the rest of the city parties well into the morning, we find ourselves running for the airport to make a re-routed flight before Hurricane Sandy comes to town. We do manage to catch the beginning of Marquee resident Keidy’s pumping closing set, though, which he does dressed up as Spiderman. It’s been a brilliant evening overall and we look down at the Vegas strip, growing smaller from our airplane window, knowing that we’ll be back soon enough.
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