A few months ago, Pacha NYC extended its EDM domination to New Jersey when it teamed up with 4Sixty6 in West Orange to bring the New York dance music scene into the suburbs. This past week they brought Afrojack into Dirty Jersey to spin back-to-back sets at 4Sixty6 and Pacha. The question I kept asking myself — and still have yet to answer — is “Is New Jersey really ready for EDM?”
December 27th marked a momentous occasion, as it was the first time that Nick Van DeWall, would be playing in New Jersey. Numerous well-respected DJs have spun at 4Sixty6 since its recent revival, but Afrojack is on a level all his own, and it was an interesting dynamic, to say the least.
As a native New Jersey-an it would have been blasphemy not to attend, especially when this would surely be a menagerie of everything stereotypical about my home state. Statuses flooded my Facebook news feed about excitement for the show, and it was as if none of these people realized less than 15 minutes away, across the border of NY and NJ, Afrojack would be playing a proper show at the real Pacha NYC — not to mention taking over Roseland Ballroom less than 24 hours later.
4Sixty6 was everything I expected it to be: an upscale club with a state of the art sound system, gorgeous bartenders, and a swank VIP that overlooked the massive dancefloor —with a second floor DJ booth that puts Pacha’s to shame. Rather than position Afrojack upstairs, he was put in the back left corner, leaving those in the VIP no chance of seeing the world famous DJ.
With no regard for the maximum capacity of the club, this event was doomed from the beginning. Now, I don’t want to seem like an elitist, but if you enjoyed yourself that night, you simply don’t know any better. Those of you who frequent Pacha’s mainroom every weekend understand what the definition of “crowded” is; now close your eyes, imagine that, and double it. There was very little movement in the mass of tightly packed bodies as Afrojack spun, and certainly not the insane jumping and general madness that usually accompanies one of his sets.
Crowd control issues aside, 4Sixty6 is poised to become the premiere place in Northern New Jersey for electronic dance music. I consider this a mere hiccup in a bright and hopeful future for the nightlife of a state desperately trying to forget about Snooki and The Situation.
That night, Afrojack saved his best for Pacha NYC where he, accompanied by girlfriend Paris Hilton, shook the big room with just as much energy as he did 7 months prior. Playing a set composed of nearly all of his own originals and remixes, Nick brought me back with some old classics like “Polkadots,” while dropping tracks off the recently released Lost and Found II and some more obscure remixes like his pitch-bended version of “Kickstarts” by Example.
Larry Tee feat. Roxy Cottontail – Let’s Make Nasty (Bounce Little Kitty) (Afrojack Remix)
Is it possible to ever get tired of the vocals on “Let’s Make Nasty (Bounce Little Kitty)”? because I highly doubt it. Sometimes simplicity is key, and the way a club reacts when this track is dropped only proves my point. Not to mention its uncanny ability to turn a dancefloor into an orgy of gyrating bodies.
Afrojack – Polkadots (Original Mix)
As charming as it is pointless, “Polkadots” stands the test of time as one of those tracks that you find yourself screaming the lyrics to, no matter how absolutely pointless they are.
Afrojack, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and NERVO – The Way We See the World (Tomorrowland Anthem Instrumental Mix)
I shouldn’t need to explain this one — the names on the track speak for themselves. “The Way We See the World” features Afrojack’s squealing bass line, DV & LM’s gritty synths and big kicks, and NERVO’s gorgeous vocals. Like a girl with big tits, a nice ass, and a good personality, something this perfect doesn’t happen very often.
Example – Kickstarts (Afrojack Remix)
Example’s breakout hit “Kickstarts” gets the Afrojack treatment, kickstarting this track into the stratosphere. It is one of the first — and still my favorite — remix of an Example song. The drop here has that old school dirty dutch, jungle vibe that was so popular in 2010.
Afrojack – Montreal (Original Mix)
After exhausting the crowd by mashing “Pon De Floor,” “Hello,” and “How I Like It” together, Afrojack took the energy down a notch with one of his newest releases. “Montreal,” off of Lost and Found II, is a smooth tech house track. As we said before, this track is perfect for giving the dance floor some time to breath before you jump into another huge track like “Take Over Control” — which he did flawlessly before jumping into “Levels.”
Afrojack is one of those DJs that everyone should see live at least once. His energy is always out of control, and the genuine passion he has for the craft emanates from the DJ booth when he gets behind the decks. He dominated New York all through late last week, and we were lucky enough to see him in all his glory.