Tiesto at San Jose State University. Photo by Aron Cooperman.
In a recent interview with Tiesto, the superstar DJ spoke on how inspiring it’s been playing for American crowds in the wake of the recent electronic dance music boom. He noted that stateside, crowds aren’t pigeon-holed in one style and are incredibly enthusiastic about the emerging sound. That enthusiasm was on full display last night at his sold-out show inside the San Jose State Events Center, the latest stop on his College Invasion tour.
As has become custom, neon colors and lots of skin was the dress code—all the better to dance with. There was even a tribal headdress or two bouncing along to the four-to-the-floor bass.
Opener Alvaro elicited a decent crowd reaction from the half-full house, ending his set with a few tracks that showcased the growing trap sound (see: Harlem Shake). The crowd hit at heavy simmer at about 8pm, with Quintino dropping crowd favorites and excitement built with electro DJ Tommy Trash taking the stage to a nearly full arena before Tiesto arrived.
When Tiesto took the stage at 9:30pm, it was clear that this was his party to rock. While his opening acts kept the pulse with minimal tech, Tiesto’s two-hour set was enhanced with a HD video intro that made previous motion banners seem amateur in contrast and EDM favorites like smoke cannons, lasers, flashing lights and a timed mass release of thousands of white balloons.
When the balloons finally dropped near the end of his set, the vibe was transcendent, with a sea of waving hands and deep, carnal bass. Surveying the scene midway through the set, Tiesto seemed to even have the rafters engaged. His crowd came to party and he was giving them exactly what they wanted.
At 10:30, a sea of moving bodies seemed in sync with Tiesto’s musical heartbeat and that fever pitch only intensified as he neared the end of his set. Dipping back into his catalogue, 2003 classic “Adagio For Strings” made an appearance, as did a portion of Zombie Nation’s seminal arena anthem “Kernkraft 400.”
Though the sweating, minimally clothed crowd was greeted outside by a damp, windy night, the spell of bad weather did little to stave off the post-show euphoria.