When it comes to celebrating New Year's Eve in Los Angeles, there are plenty of parties to choose from; whether it's gathering downtown at Grand Park or at a popular nightclub on the Sunset Strip, the city allows its diverse citizens and visitors to partake in different types of activities for this big holiday. In order to make the most of my celebration, I decided to join the trance family and close out 2016 with a trip down the rabbit hole with Markus Schulz.
Schulz, who's been at the forefront of trance music for over a decade, delivered an open to close set this past Saturday at the famous Avalon nightclub in Hollywood. The historic 90-year-old venue, which recently went through an extensive renovation, has played host to big-name DJs such as Tiesto, Calvin Harris and Porter Robinson to name a few. After this weekend's epic open to close set, Markus Schulz stands high amongst Avalon's previous musical acts.
Having been to the venue before, I decided to start my night upstairs and enjoy the light show that is showcased best from the balcony level. Part of experiencing trance music is the epic lasers that sync with the melodic beats and take over your sense of sight and sound. Schulz's set delivered a heavy punch of both lasers and great beats.
Early in the evening, Schulz delivered two stand-out hits: Kieza's “Hideaway” and Above and Beyond's “Peace of Mind”, the latter of which had me singing at the top of my lungs and suprised me with an insane build-up and drop that had me jumping up and down on the edge of the balcony.
With this being New Year's Eve, Schulz had the pressure of delivering a track that everyone in the crowd would enjoy as their first song of the year. With three big screens surrounding each side of the Avalon's gorgeous Spanish-Baroque style theater, it was easy to keep track of the countdown. Right before the countdown to 2017, Schulz played his big hit, “Remember This” to an eager crowd awaiting a new beginning. Once the clock struck midnight, the crowd cheered as confetti and streamers blasted from the main stage while Schulz shouted out, “Happy New Year Trance Family!” Schulz ushered in 2017 with “Torque”, his high-energy trance hit with Ferry Corsten (together known as New World Punx).
Schulz did not lose any momentum, keeping the trance music flowing with classic hits like Cosmic Gate's “Exploration of Space” and “Take Me Away” by 4 Strings. However, it wasn't until the end of the night that Schulz transported me into pure trance heaven when he brought the psytrance with Vini Vici's remix of “Free Tibet” and to my delight, his own remixes of “Flight 643” and “Traffic” by Tiesto.
You can see the genuine love Markus Schulz has for his craft in not just his music, but in his dedication to play hours-long sets to massive crowds. Even when the crowds started to disperse in the early hours of the morning, Schulz continued to play and wave to his fans who danced as he mixed until closing time.