The day was finally here, the day Delhi NCR had been waiting for like a raver’s Christmas. As the sweet summer breeze blew over the green grass and the sun was all set to give way to a night who’s story was going to be told and retold – you could see glistening-happy people flocking into the Sunburn arena, ready to experience the magic that a concert had promised them, and magic it was!
How did it all start? It took just one announcement to light the excitement of Delhi NCR’s electronic music junkies ablaze. The social media was abuzz with the news of something extraordinary that was going to take place in the city. World’s number one DJ, the beloved, Hardwell was about to set foot into the capital for one night’s affair and a night was all that this city was craving! Thanks to the eminent dance music event organizing company, Sunburn, Friday night of September 26th wasn’t just another regular weekend to look forward to. The company partnered up with the leading mobile brand Micromax to bring the sensational Dutch DJ’s ‘I Am Hardwell’ tour to Delhi NCR, featuring an opening set by Revealed Recordings’ resident act Kill The Buzz to make sure that Delhi didn’t miss out on the best from the world of electronic music!
Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida boasts of hosting a history of successful concerts including the ones by Avicii & Deadmau5, and it was for the same reason that the venue was privileged to feature the world’s number 1 DJ and host a party of a whopping 26,000 Hardwell fans!
The evening kickstarted with the young-hearted, neon-cladded ravers stepping into the concert grounds. That feeling of euphoria as you made your way through the parking lot full of fellow ravers with lit eyes sharing the same excitement that you’re oozing with, was enough to assure you that you were exactly where you should have been – in a ground full of people united by the common love for music. Once inside, one was greeted by the view of a stage that hid so many secrets that were about to take place within moments! The stage lit up like a Christmas tree with strobe lights and we were greeted by the young gun, Kill The Buzz who got the ball rolling for the crowd with his opening set. The man behind Revealed’s latest hit, ‘Carbon‘ set the vibe just right to welcome his label mate, Hardwell and teased the crowd long enough with a humming introduction that brought every one’s anticipation to an edge.
After a great set by Kill The Buzz, the last ounce of waiting for the ‘Spaceman’ genius came to an end. The life of the party was finally in the house and the roof was about to be blown up. It was time to “Go Hardwell Or Go Home”.
The lights went off and the arena went dark. The massive screens along the stage came to life as the I AM HARDWELL intro kicked in, with a resounding, deep voice announcing “Dear dreamers, this is I AM HARDWELL”. With the lights above the stage and lights radiating from the phones illuminating the venue, Hardwell popped out from behind the console, amidst a massive roar from the crowd, kicking off his set with his 2014 hit ‘Everybody In The Place’, raving, as the crowd raved and jumped along with him, rapping their hands to the rhythm, giving everyone a hint what the night had in store for all of us. Taking the mic, he introduced himself with “Namaste India” which called for a deafening roar from the crowd, finally acknowledging the fact that they were indeed witnessing an event they thought a few years back. they could only imagine. With flashing lights, mesmerizing visuals and confetti being launched along each drop, the crowd was caught up in the hypnosis of this magician.
Like a storm bringer unleashing the energy of hurricanes, Hardwell unfolded his set with tracks that teased and swirled up the adrenaline in the crowd. Next in line was his own remix of ‘A Sky Full of Stars’, originally by Coldplay, thetrack, which has become a regular in his sets of late. Then again, who wouldn’t be elated to hear a Coldplay song tailored to make them dance? Such is the art of this Dutch master.
Hardwell’s sets are always complete with impressive mashups and acapellas, and this set was no stranger to them. He mashed up W&W’s remix of Gareth Emery’s ‘U’ mashed up with Calvin Harris & Alesso’s ‘Under Control’ into an eclectic affair, keeping the energy levels at the arena intact. Then with a twist of a knob the DJ switched the energy of crowdby unleashing Audien’s remix of Bastille’s ‘Pompeii‘ mashed up with W&W’s remix of Krewella’s ‘Live For The Night’, making it the perfect indie remix to sway to and catch a break from the high-energy dose.
Followed by this was Alesso’s remix of ‘If I Lose Myself’ mashed up with Hardwell’s own remix of Blasterjaxx’s ‘Countdown,’ that not only synced the crowd’s hands moving in the air but their voices along with the vocals of the track too!
Keeping the energy up and alive, as well as interacting with the crowd in between his sets, Hardwell dropped his famed mashup of Armin van Buuren’s ‘Ping Pong’ and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike vs. Martin Garrix’s ‘Tremor’, the one he debuted at Tomorrowland. What followed was complete madness taking over the crowd.
Dropping a mashup of W&W‘s bootleg of Zedd‘s ‘Clarity‘ and his own collaboration with W&W for ‘Jumper‘, Hardwell some how got us all singing along on the top of our lungs like emotional fools but hey, no one was complaining! Hardwell’s diverse taste in genres and his ability to amalgamate them to suit the preferences of his fans were clearly reflected in his set and he removed all doubts when he bombed the audience with a mashupof Linkin Park’s ‘Numb’ with ‘ At Night’ & ‘Who Is Ready To Jump (Hardwell Smashup)’ that got every one nostalgic. It seemed anything that Hardwell would throw towards the crowd, they just absorbed the energy and continued dancing throughout. The crowd fed off the energy from him, and he fed off the energy from the crowd and gave us an unforgettable experience. Going on further, he dropped one of his biggest hits from last year ‘Never Say Goodbye’, which had the crowd pump their fists in absolute, and was followed by a mashup of ‘The Code vs Alive (Zedd Remix)‘ vs‘Harder Better Faster Stronger’.
However, just as the audience thought that the night couldn’t get any better than this, the heart-melting, soul-wrenching moment of the gig was yet to come. As Hardwell played ‘Dare You’, he climbed atop the console, took the Indian flag in his own hands and waved it at the crowd, winning the hearts of each and every soul present in the arena. “India, I love you guys!” said the prodigy and the cheers that followed of course, were loud enough to be heard by the whole city.
He then threw in David Guetta’s ‘Ain’t A Party’ making sure that the crowd felt home at his bash. As the time progressed, he continued laying down bangers, with Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais ‘How We Do vs. Summertime Sadness‘ mashup because let’s face it, no matter how much time elapses, no summer festival is complete without ‘Summertime Sadness’ being dropped.
For those who weren’t that big a fan of pop mashups, Hardwell hadn’t forgotten about them at all and he yet again proved how much he cared about building a common ground for the multi-genre prefernces of his fans by playing a mashup of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ beloved song “Californication” vs. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike vs Sander Van Doorn’s ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ vs Project T’, Kid Cudi feat. MGMT ‘Pursuit Of Happiness (Steve Aoki Remix)’ that almost reduced the audience to tears of shear joy. So many tracks wrapped up in one was more than a dream come true.
As if 3 hours just weren’t enough to give Delhi all he’d got, Hardwell belted out mashups after mashup as the end approached with the likes of Calvin Harris’ ‘Sweet Nothing’, Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, Alesso & Dirty South vs. Dada Life’s ‘City Of EPIC Dreams (Chuckie Mash-up)’ and Bassjackers & Kenneth G vs Alesso vs Riva Starr &Fatboy Slim’s ‘Rampage vs Raise Your Head vs Eat Sleep Rave Repeat’.
Finally, asking Delhi to show him what the city had got one last time for the night, he chose to seal the glorious event with hardstyle mashing up of the acapella of ‘Apollo’ with the Headhunters remix of ‘Spaceman’. In the moment, each and every pound of the beat was in sync with the racing heartbeats of the audience and the sky that was set ablaze with fire works and confetti. Could there be a better end to this night that almost forced you to pinch yourself to believe you weren’t dreaming?
As they say, all good things come to an end, but it’s nights like these that truly make us feel alive and remind us that music has the power to make us feel, to drive emotions and to unite one another. Nights like these are meant to be recounted as memories and brought out again when you’re low, so if you were lucky enough to experience the magic that Hardwell and Kill The Buzz brought with them, we hope you get fuzzy, tingly feelings every time you remember it!
Special thanks to the Sunburn team.
Edited by Hamed Khalidi