“Do you guys know my name?” A strange question coming from a man who introduces himself with powerful shouts just about every time he touches down on stage. “The reason I’m playing as Nick van de Wall is because not everybody knows my real name.” If that had truly been the case, it no longer was after Friday of Ultra’s second weekend. The dark sky began to pour at Bayfront Park and the Jacked stage was the perfect storm. “I’m going to play shit I don’t always get to play, some of my favorite songs.” Shocked, I thought “Is he not going to play… ” but before I had finished my thought, he had finished it for me; “but that doesn’t mean I won’t play that Afrojack music!”
Afrojack then introduced himself formally as Nick van de Wall, only without the microphone, as he skipped his beefed up festival introduction and opted to open with his classic “Amanda.” While he couldn’t go without the early “Bangduck” selection, in context it was delivered and enjoyed with the set’s throwback essence, and he took that throwback vibe even further with “Grindin.”
Afrojack – Amanda
The crowd was packing in; fans sitting on shoulders, other fans standing on them. Nick began revealing split-personalies, and just when the crowd begged for it enough, he brought back the 2013 Afrojack. With a brand new unidentified track that evoked the same crowd reaction, he moved into “Rocker” and brought the energy within the reckless deluge to new heights. At this point, people were ripping there shirts off, climbings trees, and collectively losing their shit — that’s what Nick does for his crowds, that’s what he’s always done, and that was the statement he was making even early into his outing.
Another future release came and Afrojack followed with his David Guetta collaboration, “Lunar,” a drop that dominated the towering Dutchman’s sets in 2011. Next came a treat for fans, two more tracks off his forthcoming debut album. The first was high-octane and just as much a party starter or rave prolonger as anything he’s produced. The second was anthemic Afrojack, in the same vein as “Can’t Stop Me” or “Sovereign Light Cafe.” Fans were getting a medley of the many flavors of Nick and an experience unmatched by his main stage outings.
David Guetta & Afrojack – Lunar
“Pacha on Acid” brought fans back to 2010, a time when his grinding basslines were only beginning to solidify his insignia, and “No Beef” had the already-wet crowd soaked once again — only not with rain, but with champagne. “Take Over Control” came blaring out of the deafening sound system of the UMF Radio stage, and not in the modern interlude form, but in its entirety to further elevate nostalgia.
By now, the fans that had been climbing trees had either climbed down or were shaken down by the earthquake-like atmosphere that Nick had created. With the crowd in the palms of his hands, he further incited them with “Replica” before playing one last unreleased tune.
Afrojack – Replica
Afrojack’s afternoon set at Ultra weekend two was one of those only-at-Ultra moments, one that he was thrilled to gift to his fans. One minute he was Nick, playing classic Wall offerings and grinding electro classics. The next he was Afrojack, beasting through impressive and innovative productions that will make way on his upcoming artist album. Whichever personality you prefer, his afternoon promenade was undeniably impressive as he sported a set, start to finish, with strictly original productions. Every drop, mix, and moment was handcrafted by Nick van de Wall — the introduction for his birth name, while unnecessary, was a success.