Armin van Buuren Brings Good Vibes to the Fox Oakland, 5/5/13

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Gil Riego, Jr.
Armin van Buuren at the Fox Oakland Sunday night.
By RACHEL GOLDEN

Armin van Buuren
Antillas
Sunday, May 5, 2013
The Fox Theater

Better than: Fumbling for your keys

The Bay Area raised a glass to famed Dutch trance producer and DJ Armin van Buuren last night night at the Fox. Cinco de Mayo came on a Sunday this year, but that didn't stop this crowd from going hard for every second of the show. Of course, van Buuren is pretty inspiring alone: He's won DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs fan poll five times, four of them in a row.

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Gil Riego, Jr.
Opener Antillas also hails from Holland, with a background in trance, progressive house, and electro. You'd expect an opener to build up to what the headliner will deliver, but not last night. As the clock struck 8 p.m., the show began in a blaze of raunchy trance beats and strobe lights. It was an impressive, energy-building performance.

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Gil Riego, Jr.
After Antillas had pumped up the crowd for about an hour, van Buuren hopped onstage -- but not without a little show. The set began with the DJ seeming to type messages to his audience from backstage, with the words projected on a screen: "Hello Oakland," it began, "You travel each day in search of those special moments, those moments when it all makes sense, where you feel one with the universe, where you feel the pulse of intense light" -- and just as that last period entered the screen, the lights rolled up and raced towards the audience, while Armin began mixing.

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Gil Riego, Jr.
What followed made good on his opening promise, and incited one of the best fan responses we've seen at a show. Van Burren communicated with his fans in a way that other producers and DJs don't. There was no "us" or "them," only the now.

As the show continued, you could hear fans shouting: "I've been waiting 10 years for this!" "This is literally blowing my mind right now!" The phrases kept coming one after after the other. It was, without a doubt, an amazing performance, and an amazing night for fans who came from all over the Bay Area.

Critic's Notebook

Better visuals: The lighting was very weak and did not complement the performance as much as it should have.


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