Thousands of concertgoers packed Eastern Michigan University’s Convocation Center Wednesday night, in various stages of undress and states of mind (some of which probably weren’t legal), to get lost in the heavy bass lines and thumping beats of electronic music powerhouse Tiësto.
For the second installment of his highly successful “Club Life College Invasion Tour,” electro house DJ Tiësto brought with him DJ Quintino and Tommy Trash. Together they transformed the Convocation Center into a giant, non-stop dance party from 7-11 p.m.
Dutch DJ Quintino came on at 7 p.m., shortly after the Convocation Center opened. People were streaming through the doors as charter buses unloaded, bringing in fans from all across the state. There were long lines to get inside as Quintino’s beats boomed throughout the building. Neon fabric, colored wigs, light-up T-shirts and fuzzy boots were all around. The excitement was palpable.
Security was strict at this time, pulling some people aside as they attempted to stumble into the venue.
“You’re not getting in honey, you’re f——d up,” one security guard said to a 20-something who was so intoxicated he could barely bend down to tie his shoes.
But for every inebriated fan stopped at the door, hundreds more made it through, ready for a good time.
The crowd began to swell and loosen up as Australian DJ Tommy Trash took the stage around 8 p.m., getting the audience pumped with his energetic sounds, including his recent singles “The End” and “Tuna Melt.” By the time his set ended, which was met with huge applause and cheers from the audience, the lower bowl and sold out main floor were packed. The hot air smelled of sweat and cheap beer.
Unlike many other concerts, no time was wasted between acts. When one DJ finished his set it was mere minutes before the next took the stage, never letting the crowd lose an ounce of energy.
As Tommy Trash left the stage, the crowd began to chant, “TI-ES-TO! TI-ES-TO!” while the LED screen above the DJ booth began a countdown to the moment everyone was waiting for. When the famous DJ emerged, the crowd lit up. So did the DJ booth itself, spelling “TIESTO” in huge, bright lights.
From the moment he took the stage at 9 p.m. till the end of his two-hour set, Tiësto had the audience wrapped around his finger. When he said, “Jump,” they jumped. When he pumped his fist, they pumped theirs, and when the LED screen said, “YPSILANTI… LET ME HEAR YOU!” the roar from the crowd was deafening.
The audience never stopped dancing as Tiësto played a set of his original music, as well as remixes of familiar songs such as the Calvin Harris and Florence Welch hit “Sweet Nothings” and Dada Life’s “Feed the Dada.”
Fog machines, streamers and pyrotechnics added to the larger-than-life performance.
“My favorite part of the night was when he played ‘Fall into the Sky’ by Lucky Date and Zedd. I love that track,” said Mike Nowak, a junior at Central Michigan University who traveled two hours to see Tiësto.
Nowak was also one of two of the Convocation Center’s contest winners who had the opportunity to meet the DJ.
“It was pretty short and unorganized,” said Nowak, who was disappointed to have missed most of Tommy Trash’s set while waiting to meet Tiësto. “But it was still cool to shake his hand and take a photo with him. I told him I was a big fan.”
Nowak said he enjoyed the night overall.
“Tiësto put on a great performance and Quintino was great, too,“ Nowak said.
Other electronic dance music fans were similarly impressed with the lineup.
“Tommy Trash was the s—-!” said Ayinde Zuri, a local DJ who lives in Ypsilanti. “I really like his remixes.”
Reny Rodriguez, a DJ promoter, drove to Ypsilanti from Lansing, Mich., with a couple of DJs from the area.
“We’re just really big fans of the music,” Rodriguez said. “It was definitely worth the trip out here.”
Just as he had when he first visited the Convocation Center in 2011, Tiësto gave his fans exactly what they wanted.
As the concert ended, sweaty fans streamed outside into the cold air. Some had entered the Convocation Center completely sober, others in a chemically-altered state of mind. But when it was all over, everyone was on the same level: euphoric.
Related: Photo gallery of concert