Pier 94 was the site of one of the biggest parties in America this past Sunday when Afrojack, Diplo, Rusko and Sazon Booya took to the decks and spun over 7 hours of near-perfection. I had never been to a show at the legendary NYC venue and, from start to finish; I have rarely had a more enjoyable experience at a venue than I had there. With more than enough room to dance your heart out and a level of intimacy that you would never expect from such a huge room, the night began promptly at 8 when NYC moombahton masters Sazon Booya took to the stage alongside their masked hype-man Mystereo. What followed was a truly special night, where Afrojack flexed his production muscles and Diplo proved that there’s just no party like a Diplo Party.
If you’ve never seen a Sazon Booya set, you are missing out on some of the grimiest, grittiest, energy-packed moombahton you will ever get a chance to experience. With everything from their brand new remix of 2 Chainz’s hit “Birthday Song” to the highly anticipated track “Oye Mami” from the eponymous EP due out on January 24th, their set had something for everyone (no matter whether you are an avid moombah fan or brand new to the sexy styling’s at the sensual 110 BPM).
2 Chainz Ft Kanye West – Birthday Song (Sazon Booya Remix)
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I had yet to experience a live performance from Rusko but, with that said, it will come as no surprise to those with prior experience that his set was nothing short of menacing. The energy of his track selection and bootlegs was matched only by the energy he had behind the decks; between seamless transitions and frantic sections of masterful “turntablism”, the voice of Christopher Mercer rang out over the Pier 94 system to inform the crowd of “NEW RUSKOO” upon the introduction of unreleased material. One of the coolest sections of his performance came when he played his smash hit “Somebody To Love”. And after he deemed that enough of the original was played out, he stopped the performance to play the unbelievable “Skream” remix and the lesser-known DnB styled “Sigma” remix to make sure that the crowd had enough. With his set winding down, he closed out with his monster hit “Hold On” and brought Diplo out with him to start what can only be described as “a Diplo party.”
Thomas Wesley Pentz took to the decks and unleashed a perfect mosaic of the world’s biggest party anthems; whether it was Driicky Graham’s “Snapbacks & Tattoos”, or the Tiesto-approved Carnage Festival Trap Remix of “Spaceman” there was never a moment when Diplo didn’t have full control over the 7,500 ravers in the Pier 94 Warehouse. Diplo displayed his commitment to playing whatever would get the party going: it didn’t matter if it was French Montana’s club-banger, “Pop That”, RL Grime’s monstrous remix of “Satisfaction“, Jay & ‘Ye’s “Ni**as In Paris” or the earth-shaking Flosstradamus remix of “Original Don“.
Diplo drops Original Don (Flosstradamus Remix) @ Pier 94
After cycling through other huge tracks like Trinidad James’ “All Gold Everything” and the hip-hop heavyweight collaboration of “Fuckin’ Problems”, the moment finally arrived that had warranted the placing of a Twerk Wall at the back of Pier 94 in the first place. The ever-familiar “ROCK—-ROCK—R-R-ROCK!” of Nicky Da B boomed over the venue’s impeccable sound system and the entire place new it was time to express themselves. Diplo set that unforgettable riff on loop and stepped out from behind the booth to properly address the crowd for his New Orleans bounce track “Express Yourself”. He invited 6 girls up to the stage and after making sure they all knew what to do, took the loop off and had the girls on stage and half the building with their hands on the floor, ass in the air, twerking like professionals.
Diplo closed out his set with a healthy array of electro and trap productions as well as classic hip-hop tracks and finally his haunting remix alongside Grandtheft of the Calvin Harris and Florence Welch collaboration “Sweet Nothing”. After the Philly native’s performance, the man behind “Look at Me Now”, “Climax” and “Slight Work” retired to his trailer for further twerking, trippy sticks and Clippers highlights while the rest of the crowd was left to try and grasp what had happened for the last hour and a half of their lives.
Nyc was trippy as fuck tonight.. 7500 kids rockin w us! Now I’m smoking a trippy stick watch clippers highlights w girls twerking in trailor
— dıpןo (@diplo) December 31, 2012
Having already seen Afrojack at his Binghamton University stop on the worldwide Jacked tour, I knew the level of production that was going to be brought to the stage. Whereas Diplo’s set was an unabashed, genre-less culmination of party music, Afrojack’s set was more of a showcase for the crowd to experience his Afrojack-music in the full scale of a live show. His set carried well into the night, past the 3 am mark, and was full of a ton of unreleased material from his upcoming artist album that is sure to solidify his mainstream success for the foreseeable future. If not that, maybe his personal remix of “Gangam Style” may just do the trick.
Psy – Gangnam Style (Afrojack Remix) Preview
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The set opened with his “Take Over Control” ridden introduction with the one minute countdown splayed across the monstrous LED walls of Pier 94 that had the entire crowd in angst. The following set saw Nick Van de Wall playing out his monstrous radio successes such as his own remix of “Give Me Everything”, and the Afrojack remix of Kirsty’s “Hands High”; one of my new favorite tracks to hear played out live as of late. His set grinded on into the night with the premiere of his remix to “Gangam Style”, the placement of his Steve Aoki collaboration “No Beef”, and the dutch-house squeak-ridden “Annie’s Theme”. Afrojack closed things out with his festival-crusher “Rock The House” and radio-hit “Can’t Stop Me Now” and stepped away from the decks as the night started to near 4 am.
Afrojack 2013 Album Preview
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December 30th at Pier 94 will forever be remembered by me as one of the most diverse and promising nights with regards to the state of the electronic music scene that I can remember. Whether it was Diplo proving why trap music and hip-hop will bridge a huge gap in EDM’s mainstream crossover or Afrojack unveiling a ton of new production material to show what kind of followup 2013 will be for the Dutch superstar, the night was a considerable win for the further ingraining of EDM into the spotlight of American culture.
Written by: @randymcrandell | @thatnewjam