Everything about Afrojack is larger than life: his music, his personality, and certainly his 6+ foot stature. His presence exudes energy, and if the sweat stains that appear on his trendy t-shirts are any indication, he’s definitely doing more than just pushing play when he gets behind the CDJs. He took over Pacha NYC this past Thursday, and the completely packed club was there for one thing and one thing only: to hear Afrojack music from the man himself. Well, we can tell you that he delivered, and he did it in a big way. Keep reading for the full breakdown… or don’t, and miss out on loads of awesome photos from the night.
Nick Van De Wall arrived to Pacha at 1:38AM with a hood over his head like a fighter walking into the ring. Accompanied by tour manager Ludvie Mailuhu and a throng of beautiful women, he casually descended into the booth with the swagger of a mega-mogul. From the moment the crowd caught wind of his proximity, the “AF-RO-JACK” chants began, and it wasn’t long before the switch was made and the Dutch giant was able to start his reign over the New York nightclub.
Things got off on a ducky note with the Afrojack intro version of “Bangduck,” a track familiar to anyone with a true love of Dutch house. Speaking of Dutch house, the majority of the night’s musical adventure was pure, unadulterated Afrojack Music — and we loved every minute of it. After the conclusion of Bangduck, Afrojack dropped “Polkadots,” another classic production — and we might be mistaken, but there were hints of “Riverside” thrown in there for good measure. Finally came “Selecta”, which is one track you simply don’t appreciate until you hear it live.
Afrojack – Bangduck (Original Mix)
The next song we recognized after a period of beeps and bloops was the big man’s remix of “Let’s Make Nasty.” Finally the speakers emitted the opening sequence of “Take Over Control” and the main dancefloor transformed into a karaoke stage, with every attendee mouthing along to the mega anthem. The crowd’s intensity only increased when the Eva Simons lyrics faded away into a bootleg of Calvin Harris’ “Awooga” infused with vocals from “Leave the World Behind.” It sounds kind of crazy on paper, but we were surprised at how well it worked. One thing is for sure though, “Awooga” is quite possibly the most played song of the year — it shows up in everyone’s sets.
The bootlegs continued as the night drew on and the bottles were popped. R3hab’s intense track “The Bottle Song” got mashed with Kid Cudi lyrics from “Day N Nite,” and the added familiarity helped ease the crowd into the deep synths of that particular song. Daft Punk got some facetime with back to back bootlegs of “Harder, Better, Faster” and “Aerodynamic” before Afrojack dropped his remix of “Pass Out,” which he happened to debut in this very club back in January. After Tinie Tempah’s Euro-smash was through, AJ dropped his remix of the Wombats “Techno Fan.” The crowd didn’t seem particularly into the Indie departure, but even the “low point” in an Afrojack set is anything but horrible.
Daft Punk showed up one last time in the form of “Technologic,” another classic track that we were glad to see mixed in with the many new offerings that blasted through Pacha’s sound system. Speaking of new, next up was a song that we’ve still been unable to identify since first hearing it back at Ultra. There are rips that have popped up online, and the consensus seems to be that it’s a collaboration with Steve Aoki called “Morfium” — but don’t quote us on that. (Though if you’re reading this Nick or Steve, feel free to tip us, heh). Either way, this is one song we’re very excited about, just because it really changes it up, and the beginning almost sounds like it’s a record being played back in the wrong direction. Finally came two more Afrojack originals, “Replica” and “Louder that Words.”
Afrojack – Replica (Original Mix)
David Guetta & Afrojack feat. Niles Mason – Louder Than Words (Original Mix)
The last song of the night was the Afrojack edit of Imogen Heap’s “Hide N Seek,” and Nick got the crowd hyped up (and slightly depressed) before dropping the sultry, smooth opening. When it hit the breakdown, the entire club went completely nuts, with people jumping up and down so ferociously we thought we might see some full on collisions. It was certainly a nice way to go out, and ended the set on a major high note.
Imogen Heap – Hide and Seek (Afrojack Remix)
Overall, Afrojack’s set was filled with energy and intensity for the entire time he was on. He’s so into the crowd, and his intermittent shouts and instructions to partygoers to “make some f-ing noise” work wonders to rile the ragers up even more. He’s only been on the scene for a couple of years, but he makes it seem so effortless when it’s his turn on the tables. As we noted when we saw him perform at the same venue back in January, his producing skills outshine his DJ skills, but we’d be hard pressed to find any major flaw in his set from this time around. That’s good through, because we’re not expecting any slow down, and if you ask the man himself, he’s probably not either. SELECTA.