The trance gods were smiling down on Pacha NYC last Thursday when the one and only Paul Oakenfold swooped in for one hell of a night at the famous club. The legend, one of the first trance heavy-hitters this writer discovered while in middle school, put on a show that was almost incognito. The club, usually bursting at the seams, was uncharacteristically full of room to mingle, meet new people, and dance. Getting there about an hour before Paul was set to go on, the club was still relatively empty, leaving one to wonder how all of New York City could possibly coordinate a collective palm-to-the-face by missing such a momentous occasion. However, forty-five minutes later, the flood gates opened. The crowd started pouring in by the dozens, lining and packing up the club – though not in the usual sardine-like manner it tends to – brimming with excitement for the man of the hour to go on. The Dutch master sneaked his way onto the decks like a ninja, getting down to business with no fanfare, no big introductions. To be honest, the man had a few of the hardcore trance-addicts present a bit worried at first as he started out his set with big room electro beats (even Zedd’s Clarity made a brief appearance). However, that lasted only fifteen minutes, as for the remainder of his time spinning, Oakenfold delivered nothing but blissful trance, both old and new. The crowd had to work hard to chant his name throughout the night because of the fact that everyone was busy eating up beautiful melodies and uplifting chords out of the palm of the pioneer’s hands. The crowd itself was equally as beautiful, feeding into both Paul’s set and the overall experience of togetherness typical of the genre. Trance-lovers in sweats grooved the night away into heaven while crowds of b-boys let the music take over their bodies to knock out some back-breaking moves. The only real complaint of Paul Oakenfold’s set is the fact that it was far too short, especially given the amazing vibe of the night. Although he only played for about two and half hours, those in attendance know they experienced what is unfortunately becoming more and more of a rarity in our expanding community; a night of unadulterated music, rooms to let that music truly speak in the form of uninhibited dancing, and a crowd united if only for one night in the shared love of life-changing trance.

Written by: Brian Merlano

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