Live Music + Gig Reviews

Tiësto @ Alexandra Palace, London

20 April 2007

I don’t know what’s been more daunting about tonight.

The queue to get into Alexandra Palace. That I was about to embark on a six hour set from Tisto.

Or that six hours later, and 24 hours on since I last slept, I’d be slumped on the southbound platform at Finsbury Park station staring at an eight foot poster of a baby with its arms outstretched and a huge grin cum gurn which flash backed me straight to the gig.

For the hungry clubber in search of sunrise, there are few better than Tisto at sending you on your way. While not the most innovative of the super DJ elite, his sound is accommodating, and he carries a formidable reputation as a performer. On the back of his fourth studio album’s release, Elements of Life, 10,000 of us slowly but surely bamboozled our way into the isolated vistas of Ally Pally.

Being a British crowd there were, of course, people passing out by the time doors had opened, puke strategically located near exits, and lots of town centre on a Friday night behaviour.

Tisto shovelled a big cross section of revelers into the main floor, from old timers, indie kids and rich folk to the usual array of trance freaks, models, hardcore clubbers and chavs. There was a unified atmosphere all night, with an inkling that what we were experiencing was something pretty special, with the man himself unable to stop smiling and looking as involved as the crowd.

The first two hours were a gradual work into the set, with a few sprinklings from Elements of Life. Around 2am a dark trance medley signaled a shift in gears for the set, which included an astonishing rework of Radiohead’s Street Spirit, and a welcome take on The Killers‘ Read My Mind.

Jes made an appearance for an utterly blissful Everything, as did Christian Burns for In the Dark. Maxi Jazz was sadly not in tow for Dance4Life, but at 4am and dropped straight after the storming Traffic, that was the least of our concerns. And so followed a suitcase full of belters including mercurial versions of Adagio For Strings and Flight 643. It was relentless at times, packed with retina piercing lighting, pupil screwing animations, elaborate pyros, sparklers and confetti.

Lying on the dewy grass outside watching daybreak and panoramic views of a new London day, rounded off an at-times intense and carefree night. Thirsty and drained, I left wondering when I’d next experience a sunrise like this. Staring back at that crazy baby with his MDMA grin, I realised I was better off enjoying it while it lasted.

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More on Tiësto
Tiësto: “Influences have seeped in. I play a bit of everything” – Interview
Tiësto @ Alexandra Palace, London
DJ Tiësto – In My Memory