Size In The City: Steve Angello and Friends Rock NYC
On Saturday night, Steve Angello proved that size really doesn’t really matter that much. Size in the Park — although it sold out almost immediately— wasn’t the biggest crowd to which he's played. Nor was the after party at Pacha NYC. It wasn’t the largest stage that’s swallowed him. But the much-awaited show in Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield, which showcased both Angello and players from Size Records, entranced crowds without a whole lot of outside help.
By 5 p.m., the doors were open and Third Party — Size Records’ first British convert — stepped up for their New York debut. Henry Bass and Jonnie Macaire dropped some crowd-pleasers, as if seducing a those who might not be familiar with their progressive sound. The Zedd remix of Skrillex’s “Breakin’ a Sweat” rose a collective pulse that kept a steady beat throughout the night. They slipped in Afrojack’s “Rock the House” and a few Daft Punk gems. But the duo shined when they played their own tracks like their remix of Red Hot Chili peppers’ “Otherside” and “Thank You”, the breakaway hit featuring Loleatta Holloway.
The crowd swelled throughout the evening and as the skies darkened, it was clear that mastermind Angello threw everything he had into the Central Park event. He told Huffington Post last week, “I think we do about four of five key events a year, and [Size in the Park] is one of them. “ He was involved in every aspect from planning where the Provocateur VIP bottle service tables would go to how much the tickets would cost.
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano — a team that Axwell once called “the Dutch version of Swedish House Mafia” — didn’t give the crowd a chance to rest. Their beats were a steady stream of house and tribal. Early in the night they dropped a remix to Fatboy Slim’s “What the Fuck” that drew the few seated fans to their feet.
If fans wanted proof that music is truly in the Angello family DNA, his little brother AN21 was there as proof. He took the decks with longtime collaborator Max Vangeli. But there was little nepotism in Central Park on Saturday, as AN21 and Vangeli definitely earned Saturday’s penultimate set. They spun without pause, hitting key tracks from their new album (“People of the Night,” “Bombs over Capitals," "Brunette") and old favorites (Modjo's "Lady," The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army"). They ended on “Glow,” a sing-a-long the crowd craved.
For some, the night was just beginning. The sun set and the trees surrounding the Rumsey area were eerily illuminated by lampposts behind them. The crowd took heavy breaths as if they were waiting for a star to emerge; they were and he did. Steve Angello took over and then the night truly began. He moved from his classic “Knas" into a surprise drop of SHM's "Greyhound," moved into a few Swedish House Mafia tributes and Alesso & Sebastian Ingrosso’s “Calling”. His old-school DJing prowess showed as he moved deftly between tracks, feeling out the crowd’s limits. He pushed them, too, with unexpected drops and swift mixing. “New York, there’s something special about you guys," he told the crowd. "Every time I’m here I feel like I’m home. "He produced a new lightshow for Size’s storming of Central Park. The LEDs hit the trees behind the crowd and turned into dancing forest creatures.
Then, it began to rain. The crowd was soaked and happy to be part of a dream-like ending to summer, with the fans in the front packing in even closer than before. Angello, of course, played through the downpour and finished strong with a bootleg of “Beating of My Heart" and Sweet Disposition” followed by a “Don’t You Worry Child” remix.
With that, he was off to spin a quick set at 4Sixty6 in New Jersey, but not before tweeting, “Thank you New York!!! That was super special! Somehow the rain always shows up by the end and it does for me! Thank you GOD! Much love.” The party continued without him at Pacha NYC, where Junior Sanchez and Third Party got chances to flex their club muscles until Angello returned for his third and final set of the day.
Third Party took the booth and the whole night started over again. They were front and center in New York for the second time that day — and ever — and found themselves warming up a crowd again. They hit their mark with the ubiquitous "Otherside" vocals, but segued into Technotronic's 90s groove “Pump Up the Jam,” an unlikely move that spiced up their set. It was clear from the first few drops: this may be the same city but here it was a different kind of party. The cramped three-floor club was packed with Pacha regulars, spillover fans and club kids. The message was clear: here we can do what we want.
Pacha’s sirens guided the night and Junior Sanchez took over. He threw in some sing-a-longs (“Mr. Brightside,” “We Are Young,” “Young, Wild and Free,” “Kids”). If Third Party took risks, Sanchez was just having fun.
A little before 2 a.m., Angello made his final appearance of the night. The set was unlike his performance at Rumsey: the drops were a little further apart; he peaks held out just a little longer; the tracks were more obscure. He may not have been flying completely by the seat of his pants, but he sure made it seem that way. “This right here is an after party. So we’re gonna get dirty. We’re gonna get filthy," Angello yelled into the mic, "New York City, make some fucking noise!” And, of course, the crowd complied.
Written By: Jessica Goodman
Photos By: Chiara Gerek