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article imageReview: Armin van Buuren masterful at New York's Madison Square Garden Special

By Markos Papadatos     Apr 15, 2014 in Music
New York - On April 11, world-renowned Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren played a sold-out five-hour show at New York City's Madison Square Garden, as part of his "Armin Only: Intense" tour.
This tour is in support of his latest studio album Intense. This show was reminiscent of a theatrical experience, consisting of spectacular productions, acrobats, trampoline artists, dancers, musicians from a full-band, innovative screen visuals, confetti canyons, and pyrotechnics.
Armin van Buuren at New York s Madison Square Garden
Armin van Buuren at New York's Madison Square Garden
Peshean Zhang/Splash News/Corbis
His electronic dance music (EDM) show commenced at 9 p.m. and he played the first hour in a white bubble that only showcased his shadow as the stage was graced in blue lights and it was an ambient mood. He was the sole performer, hence the "Armin Only" title. It was symbolic of the birth of his children and he was able to share his personal and musical journey with his audience (since he recently became a father for the second time). The first hour featured such tracks as "Suddenly Summer" and a remix of London Grammar's "Hey Now."
Armin van Buuren performing live in New York City
Armin van Buuren performing live in New York City
Peshean Zhang/Splash News/Corbis
Fiora Cutler performed their soaring hit "Waiting for The Night," during the first hour of his set, as a wintery screen background decorated the stage, that snowy mountains and a full moon. The ever-talented Miri Ben-Ari was fabulous on violin.
My favorite performance was when Canadian singer Trevor Guthrie sang their Grammy-nominated "This Is What It Feels Like," accompanied by John Ewbank on a candle-lit piano. Guthrie really brought out the emotional lyrics of this moving tune thanks to his raw and soulful vocals.
Trevor Guthrie singing  This is What It Feels Like  in New York City
Trevor Guthrie singing 'This is What It Feels Like' in New York City
Floris Heuer Fotografie
"New York, make some noise for John Ewbank and Trevor Guthrie," Armin stated.
Guthrie subsequently joined Armin on stage as they jammed and turned it into an uplifting trance anthem. They had the audience clapping along and jumping with them. This was one song I wish would never end.
Cindy Alma singing at Madison Square Garden as part of  Armin Only: Intense  tour
Cindy Alma singing at Madison Square Garden as part of 'Armin Only: Intense' tour
Peshean Zhang/Splash News/Corbis
Cindy Alma sang a stunning version of "Beautiful Life" as she was accompanied on piano.
Equally impressive was Lauren Evans' empowering and dynamic vocal performance of "Alone," which resonated well with the fans. "Is anybody out there? Is anyone listening? Is anyone left in this whole world? Or are we alone?" Evans sang convincingly.
Armin van Buuren at Madison Square Garden  New York City
Armin van Buuren at Madison Square Garden, New York City
Peshean Zhang/Splash News/Corbis
One of the other highlights of the show was for his new single "Ping Pong," which featured yellow smiley-faced balls falling from the ceiling and bouncing throughout the arena, as they created a pleasant and fun atmosphere.
The Verdict
Overall, Armin van Buuren's "Armin Only: Intense" show at Madison Square Garden was an amazing and unforgettable EDM experience. It is no wonder that he is consistently ranked as the best DJ in the world. Although it might have been "intense," since it was a five-hour show, everything was well-crafted, directed and well-produced to the littlest detail. He had over 14,000 fans with him every step of the way. All of his team's hard work really paid off and they deserve a round of applause.
Armin van Buuren in New York s Madison Square Garden
Armin van Buuren in New York's Madison Square Garden
Floris Heuer Fotografie
Former American Idol judge Paula Abdul once said: "It was like watching the Olympics and you are our Michael Phelps." Although Ms. Abdul was referring to then-contestant Adam Lambert, this fine quotation certainly applies to Armin for his stellar concert at the iconic Madison Square Garden. It really felt like you were watching the Olympics, with Armin as the undefeated EDM champion.
For anybody who has yet to see this trance superstar play live, they ought to add a ticket to his show to their bucket list. His show garnered an A+ rating.
Kyle Knox, a fan and attendee, remarked, "Armin Only is the concert you dream of going to, where he plays the classics, the new songs and everything in between. Only Armin could bring trance to Madison Square Garden the way he did."
For more information on Armin van Buuren, visit his official website, and for all of the remaining dates of his "Armin Only: Intense" tour, check out its homepage.
More about armin van buuren, Madison square garden, Dutch, DJ, New york
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