Trance is back! Trance never went away! Fresh from enjoying the Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ sloppy seconds at Coachella and performing for 15,000
troops ravers at a California staging area for the invasion of Nevada stadium, trance kommandant Tiesto is trying to mount a comeback for the only post-rave dance music genre that ever truly affected the kind of Americans who also buy Dave Matthews CDs and list “4:20″ as a Facebook interest. The Hollywood Reporter seems hell-bent on creating the illusion that electronic music is primed to sweep the country like a shadow army-in-waiting made up of radical anti-rock insurgents in balloon pants, rather than being something more like a random, smelly nut shouting on a streetcorner that gets the occasional blog reader to download a Justice track:
On August 11, the Dutch DJ performed a 5 1/2-hour set in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 15,000 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. It was the largest-ever single-DJ show in North American history, featuring full-production and arena-scale theatrics the likes of which the dance community has never seen.
While the DJ culture in America is firmly entrenched in the underground, Tiesto is capitalizing on his worldwide stature to not only bubble into the American mainstream but create an American mainstream. As major labels renew their interest in acts influenced by electronic and dance music and the DJ culture becomes more prominent among the jet set, dance music is poised to break through in America as it has around the world.
Holy 1998. Where to even begin? Well for one thing, apparently they don’t remember that as little as seven years ago trance was already a veritable cult audience social disease among this country’s young people–Paul Oakenfold 4Life–and every attempt to mainstream rave in America has failed, at least on a Wal-Mart/Clear Channel level. Miserably. I mean a real lead-balloon flop, even with the spazzy hype pumped up to put “electronica” over the top. And often with big-time financial fallout for the industry folks involved. Still, Tiesto at least comes off as realistic–if insufferably smug. (“I look at America as my little playground.” Oh, fuck off.) And as a dance fan, I guess I’m kinda pleased with the mainstream coverage, the fact that Tiesto’s music is like eating a sack full of uncooked rigatoni at gunpoint notwithstanding.