The month had come we were all waiting for. The true mecka of hardstyle opens its doors for 27.000 dedicated hardstyle fanatics from all over the world. The grand event, the climax of the year – a masterpiece in visuals, music, show and the worlds leading hard dance event: Qlimax!
Could this years edition keep up with previous ones? What did Qlimax Rise of the Celestials offer? Did Q-Dance manage to conjure a majestic edition of Qlimax?
Underlined with Two Best Enemies – Phases, Qlimax 2016 has started. Non other than Italian mastermind Tuneboy had the honor to play the opening set of Qlimax. We expected an Italian hardstyle influenced tracklist, consisting of classics and the latest tracks by T’N’T. Tuneboy did a very good job! He even managed to surprise us with tracks like Respect by Hardstyle Masterz & Max Enforcer or Get Hit! by Crypsis.
One of the highlight in his set was definitely the Qlimax anthem of 2008 – the Next Dimensional World by his best buddy Technoboy.
During the end of his set he played more recent tracks by Technoboy and of course T’N’T like Ravish, their remix of Mellow or their edit of Isaac’s Bitches. It was a really cool set and we had a lot of fun. Most important: The mood of the people was great! That’s how you spin an opening set.
The curtain has fallen. The stage was revealed. With wide, open eyes we faced the first form of a majestic, bird similar creature, with sharp claws and massive wings on the sides. Audiotricz had their debut at Qlimax and played one hell of a great set! Diverse, fresh and surprising – the perfect balance. By including some older classics as well this set was uplifting and by far one of the best Audiotricz sets we’ve heard for a while.
In between we noticed some new tracks and some tracks by Atmozfears like Reawakening or What About Us. Furthermore, Illuminated by Demi Kanon and Energyzed was blasting through the speakers, Audiotricz Freaqshow anthem or Infinite in a Qlimax edit.
Brennan Heart & Blademasterz
Next up was Brennan Heart. He started right with a new track, followed by a new track with Toneshifterz and Code Black. Followed by Sandstorm in the Sub Sonik remix, the mood switched to raw and everyone was going crazy. With Pandora and You Got The Love by Code Black, Brennan Heart switched back to euphoric. He proved again, why he’s one of the most anticipated DJs and producer in the scene. Always delivering quality sets.
After half an one, the Gelredome turned black, some heavy kicks were shattering through the place and the deep Qlimax Voice announced Blademasterz as the next act. Damn, these 30 minutes kicked ass! What a ride through old Blademasterz classics, new releases and completely new, unreleased tracks.
The anthem maker himself was next. With a gorgeous introduction Coone dropped the Qlimax anthem Rise of the Celestials. With Faye, Rootz and Spaceship his set continued and made the people dance. The tracklist mostly consisted of tracks from his latest album like Riot, Black Submarine, but also a mash up of Universal Language and Million Miles, as well as Meltdown by Sub Zero Project and Devin Wild.
Qlimax 2016 | Official Q-dance Anthem Show | Coone - Rise of the Celestials
Surprisingly he also played Hard Drivers latest track Welcome and Shiverz by High Voltage and D-Block & S-Te-Fan. The set had a great drive, although the middle part sounded a bit too soft worth Riot and Mosh Pit by Crisis Era. But the hard ending made it worth to stay till the end of his set!
Two of the biggest heros within the hardstyle scene are back to write chapter two of their story. Combined in one single force, many people finally had the honor to witness one of their sets. Project One, consisting of Headhunterz and Wildstylez are responsible for many people falling in love with the hardstyle music. With a kick-ass 2016 version of their old costumes they played one of the most perfect sets we’ve ever heard. There are no words who could even slightly describe the atmosphere and feeling during their set. Back to the classics, to the roots of hardstyle.
Starting with Life Beyond Earth, Project One managed to take Qlimax on a journey through their very first album. The tracks were mixed very fast and almost every transition felt smooth and on point. The whole set felt like one big, phat, fitting package, with that slightly Live set characteristics. Besides their old tracks from the album like Halfway There, Rate Reducer (Headhunterz Remix), Fantasy or Reality, The Story Unfolds or Art of Creation they also played new at least three new Project One tracks and Sound Rushs remix of Project 1. One of them was the title song of Headhunterz Vlog. We are very glad to have them back into the scene. But we also hope they stay a little exclusive and won’t play too often!
Next up were Bass Modulators. A pretty late set time for these two. After a great first performance last year they delivered … not their best performance in our opinion. The biggest problem was, the tracklist was totally not fitting the set time and they were playing after the Project One. We actually expected them to play even before Coone. But even If they would have dropped the set before Coone, it would have been a rather boring set. This leads me to problem two of their set: Not a single track surprised us.
Yes they had maybe two new tracks, but apart from that I wished more edits or more variety. It felt like a copy, paste Bass Modulators tracklist we could listen to every weekend. No surprises, no highlights, no remarkable and defining aspects. For real Noisecontrollers & Bass Modulators fans this set might have been good.
Frequencerz did enter the mighty Gelredome to let us look beyond the shadows and give us a taste of their refreshing hardstyle, which they call Medium-Rare. With Frequencerz you never know what you get, some say there Qlimax 2015 performance was less than they expected. This year it was the complete opposite they gave the best they had. Finally this is the Frequencerz we want to enjoy! Maybe we should place them always a bit later at the timetable, it seems to suit them better, haha! The stage was transforming again, the phoenix did spread his wings one more time.
The show before every set was just amazing! Frequencerz did drop a few tracks from their medium-rare album, think about Gods and Elevate, which were really sick at this sound system! They did also play a few new tracks, which are unreleased yet. For instance one of the sickest tracks of the night, Frequencerz & Bass Chaserz – Renegade! Wow, the vibe in this track is amazing. Perfectly balanced between the Euphoric and the RAW. The melody made us feel a bit emotional but also gave us a lot of energy, definitely worth checking! For all RAW addicts who would love to kick in the air they did also drop Menace, in the D-Sturb remix.
It did look like a real contest out there, many people were slamming in the air when the kick rolls did blast through the speakers. At the end they did drop a track about Max Verstappen. The Formule 1 driver which made a great comeback to from place 16 to place 3 at the last GP. Definitely check out this fun track! Frequencerz did really uplift the audience after a bit disappointing set by Bass Modulators.
Everybody did expect B-Front entering the stage next. But Q-Dance surprised us with the host of the new X-Qlusive event, Ran-D entered the stage! He did drop some insane tracks. Think about his collab with D-Sturb called Need a Doctor. He did also drop many new tunes like ‘Zombies’. Of course his track Inferno, which gave him the title of Firestarter, passed by. The bass of Ran-D’s tracks are always amazing at a great sound system. We enjoyed this set to the max!
After Ran-D it was really time for B-Front! Q-Dance can’t fool us for a second time, haha! He did open his set with, trough many people’s eyes, one of the best tracks of 2016 called Paradox. Paradox is a collaboration track between B-Front and Phuture Noize and definitely worth checking. We moved to the front of the stage to check the DJ’s from a shorter distance and check the costumes and makeup. B-Front entered the stage in a great outfit, looking like he came straight from hell, or reborn from the ashes. His t-shirt was full of detail which made him look like a raven. Of course B-Front did drop the new E-force remix of his track Liberate. At the end of the he did drop Mysterias, we already thought he would forget to play it, hehe. He did fade the volume at the drop again, seems to become a bit standard, but it is still so powerful when the crowd screams along!
B-front left the stage with his magical sound, time to pump up the volume, but also the BPM. For the first time the nr.1 hardcore act made its appearance at Qlimax. Raise your fist for Angerfist! After a crazy opening show with a huge amount of lasers Angerfist appeared. He did start his set with Menace II Society – Chronic Disorder Sparta Mashup. A track with wicked drops which remind you of the millenium Hardcore. He did start playing more Industrial hardcore, building up from RAW to Hardcore seemed to be the intention of Angerfist. After the mash-up he did drop the sick tune by I:Gor called ‘Straight Outta Kielce’ and Skrillex & Damian Marley – Make It Bun Dem (Kid Morbid Bootleg).
Again he dropped an I:Gor track called This Is What I Am. After that he did drop some Raise & Revolt tracks. You should think he will stick to the new tracks, the new hardcore sound? But hell no! This is the genius, this is Angerfist. Pushing the tempo more and more, the crowd seemed to enjoy it! Suddenly he did drop Mad E-Fact & Dr. Macabre – Tha Poltergeist Hustla and The Clamps – In The Depths. The words ‘Your Soul is Mine’ were echoing true the Gelredome, and so it was!
Some people were less satisfied, among them were the true Angerfist die-hards. This set was not like all the other Angerfist sets, which we think is great because we are open-minded and like to witness different styles and sets from every artist. Around 6:45 many people left the area, to hop on the first trains, busses or leave the parking lot as one of the first. We as Hardstylemag of course stayed until the end, dance on the final beats in full energy. The night went so fast again. Angerfist dropped his final track Roland & Sherman – Somewhere Down The Lane. The clock stopped ticking for a moment, it it’s 7:00, Qlimax came, music-wise, to an end.
Back in the days MC Ruffian gave Qlimax a voice, he marked the link between the crowd and the DJ. Since 2015 MC Villain is hosting Qlimax, now in 2016 MC Villains performance didn’t really convince us. He used the wrong phrases in the wrong moments, during euphorical acts like Audiotricz, Brennan Heart or Tuneboy he talked too much of the same and later on, during rougher acts like Ran-D, Frequencerz or Angerfist, he didn’t say a single word. That’s not what a MC is supposed to do. These pseudo i-gonna-make-you-cry phrases during lovely melodies are seriously outdated.
I don’t want to touch the fucking sky ten times within two sets, I don’t want to show Qlimax how beautiful I am, I don’t want to let the world know what Qlimax does to me, I don’t want to hammer – I want to enjoy the fucking main part of the playing track, I want to feel how the track evolves, until he reaches the climax! MC Villains performance was generic and most important replaceable. He can not deliver the slightly funny, but still mystical hosting MC Ruffian was able to manage in the years before. Ruffian was not only the MC at Qlimax, he was a true part of Qlimax, gave roles a face in trailers and made Qlimax a Qlimax and not one of the thousand other events MC Villain is hosting for example.
The Stage & Show
This year the whole Qlimax felt like it was going back to the roots, back to the outstanding characteristics QLimax is known for. Most of the DJs whore costumes, the stage was monstruos and even smaller show acts like fire breather or an angel in the back of the dome, hanging from the ceiling, spreading her wings made the show of Qlimax a show to remember.
The stage itself could transform into different forms and variations, just like in 2013. It consisted of three or 4 layers, with a huge LED screen in the background, wings and a birds grumpy face, huge wings above the crowd and some sort of round amulette which could be moved up and down. Show-wise Q-Dance made sure you won’t forget this edition of Qlimax.
This year the parking took us longer than expected. But what shall we do when 27.000 people want to attend an event. Quickly checked our entrance letter on the ticket and probably saying good bye to your friends, because they never have the same entrance, right? However, once inside it was all fine! A locker did cost €7,-. We took the stairs to the VIP area, which was basically a private area at the top of the tribune, with a private locker section and a small bar. We feel sorry for the employees who worked at this bar and had to miss the whole show this night.
This night at Qlimax there was a new payment system, called; Wallet. There was no waiting line in front of the machines. The machines gave you a card or you could get one at the entrance at the lockers. It’s basically a prepaid card, you put a specific amount of money (minimum 10€) on it and there you go. Whenever you ordered a drink you had to scan the ‘Wallet’ and it automatically withdraw an amount of money. It did work surprisingly well, we were a bit sceptical about this ‘Wallet’! The only downside was the system error around 6:15. For 20 minutes people couldn’t order drinks because the system was crashed. But we think this has nothing to do with the ‘Wallet’. At the end of the event you can get the money back, just scratch the code on the pass, follow the links at the website and you’re done! A great working system which should be invented at many more events in the future!
Huge respect Q-Dance! This edition of Qlimax was insane!