When a new year rises, its time to honor the legends of the scene and put them in the spotlight. This year it was the Firestarter, the man who goes it his own way, 50% of Gunz for Hire, the creator of many grand anthems of Q-base, Defqon.1, Decibel and the one who left us speechless hundrets of times. Let’s have a look at X-Qlusive Ran-D.
At 22:30 we arrived at the Heineken Music Hall. We could already feel the bass pounding outside, teasing our nerves and brains, luring us inside to face the Firestarter. We did wait in line with the rest of the Ran-D fans. The row didn’t look long, but the security did a very long check at everybody. They did even had to open the zipper of their pants sometimes, in our opinion this goes a bit to far. However, its also just their job. Better check twice or more, rather than failing to find a weapon f.e..
Once inside, we rent a locker for 6,- EUR – the lockers were a bit small you could barely fit two winterjackets inside. But as you know, we as party fanatics are used to get almost 3 winterjackets inside a small locker, hehe. Something like ‘Push it to the limit’.
We did buy some tokens, 7 tokens was €10,-. For 3 tokens you did get a small beer, for 4 tokens a large one. That’s pretty expensive. €4,28 for a small beer? Maybe a bit to expensive for ‘festival-beer’. Anyway, these are all downsides that Q-Dance can’t help it, cause this is the pricing of the Heineken Music Hall.
At 23:15 we entered Area 1, Wietse already started the party. As some of you already know Psyko Punkz is performed by Wietse behind the decks nowadays. Psyko Punkz did play a lot of new tracks from the upcoming album. One of them is a new track called Define God. Psyko Punkz seems to be back in business, rougher than before but still including these euphoric atmosphere! We can’t wait for the album!Stage
During the set of Psyko Punkz we had lots of time to check the stage already. Q-Dance did use many items from other stages but did combine it to something new. On both sides of the stage there were huge 3D circles, consisting of blades. In the middle there was a huge LED screen, which is used in the concept of Gunz for Hire – No Mercy tour. And there was a huge ammound of lasers lights, LED’s, and other visual effects! To build something like this in a smaller venue as the Heineken Music Hall is, compared with the Gelredome, Q-Dance still did a fantastic job!
Ran-D Back in Time Ft MC Rems
The set by Psyko Punkz did come to an end. After an intro shown on the LED screen Ran-D did appear as ‘The Firestarter’. With firesticks enlighted in both hands he did raise the party to another level. ‘This is my way’ in a x-qlusive edit version. The vibe was amazing, everybody was screaming along the melodie, without fading away the music the crowd did scream on top of the whole track, you could imagine how we’ve felt at that moment. You can’t even imagine the feeling that Ran-D should have on stage, looking at the crowd going insane on your track like this! Ran-D did continue his set with some old tracks, think about ‘Back in the days’ for instance.Ran-D Presents the Future: Phuture Noize, Act of Rage & Clockartz
Now it’s time to get more DJ’s on the stage. Phuture Noize, Act of Rage and Clockartz did join Ran-D on stage to present the future of Hardstyle. Act of Rage, did release all the rage directly! The crowd did go insane, this set did open with such a good drive.
During this set Ran-D and Phuture Noize did present their new collab. In general we heard lots of new tracks this night! Act of Rage made the crowd go insane once again with Gangsters for Life and ‘Fuck you 2 bitch’. Damn, the bass in the Heineken Music Hall did almost make our eardrums explode! What a great sound! Clockartz presented their track In The Army. Phuture Noize? We love his older tunes, as they represent such a great sound design. Cool combination of these four artists!
Digital Punk & Hard Driver
Now it’s time for the brutal combination, also known as Public Enemies since 2016 , now at X-Qlusive Ran-D they play a b2b set under their own aliasses – Digital Punk & Hard Driver! By opening their set with Rebel to the grave, the power took over the crowd. The atmosphere did rise once again, while one of the best anthems ever, It’s all-in the game (Intents 2016 Anthem) was played. After that they played Going to Die by Public Enemies and Protest of Indignation. After Fuck EDM, and Evolution they did drop the Qapital 2017 anthem! So, we guess it’s an anthem by Public Enemies?
Ran-D Presents: We Rule The Night
Ran-D joined the stage once again, presenting his new project. Is it a live act or an album? We think the second answer to that question suits the best. We did spot only new tracks during this set starting with the amazing hit in the making, ZOMBIE! Everybody was screaming on the top of their longs, as you could hear at our live video on the Hardstylemag Facebook.
The Roughstate label was ready to take over, B-Front, Frequencerz and Adaro joined the stage. Together they played The Hard Bass Anthem by B-Front, Plata o Plomo, the B-Freqz crew and Wolfpack. 2016 was a nice year for the Roughstate label. This set was a solid ride through all the productions in this year. Nevertheless, we didn’t hear many new tracks during this set.
Ran-D, Endymion & Bass Chaserz
Bass Chaserz are on their way to the top, climbing the ladder as Nightbreed artist, they joined the stage together with their Nightbreed owners, Endymion. Of course we can only speak of one track during this set, the vibe was phenomonal, everybody went insane, the track doesn’t need any further introduction, we are just waiting for the release of it. Of course, I am talking about Renegade! What an insane track by Bass Chaserz & Frequencerz. It’s a track that shows how you have to combine two styles of artists. A perfect match it seems, appreciated much by the crowd and the whole Hardstyle family.E-Force & Alpha²
Their was a little bit of silence around E-Force, but now he is returning with a brand-new album. This set together with the Alpha2, did include lots of new tracks, which could be from this album. They did also drop some old bangers like: Liberate. Kick Back, The Resistance and The Boogeyman. We were all waiting for E-Force to drop one more tune, and finally in the end he played it. We didn’t hear this track for a long time. It was E-Force greatest work so far. Everybody was going total nuts on Seven!
Gunz for Hire
Once again Ran-D hopped on stage, but this time masked and wearing a suit. When his twin brother arrives you know what time it is. Give it up for Gunz for Hire! Track after Track the crowd went insane. The vibe was insanely good during tracks like ‘No Mercy’. Every time there was a little bit of vocal or a melody we could hear the people top the demolishing sound that blasted trough the speakers. After a highly enjoyable set by Gunz for Hire it was time for some Hardcore.Ran-D & Evil Activities
45 minutes left in the Heineken Music Hall. Ran-D & Evil Activities were ready to smash the dome. They did play many tracks from their album Greatest Activities. Think about My Hidden Place and Never Fall Asleep. Unfortunately many people left the Heineken Music Hall before the end of the event. Seems like Hardcore was a little bit to much for hem, hehe. Well, we highly enjoyed it till the very end!
One of the highlights of the evening was the moment when Ran-D entered the stage with the firesticks in his hand. But the absolute highlight was the moment when Ran-D entered the stage with his daughter on his arms. The whole Hardstyle familty gave a grand applause and his daughter enjoyed every second of it. The whole event was a crazy ride trough Ran-D’s past, present and future.Location
We’ve been in the Heineken Music Hall so many times, we think it doesn’t need any more detailled information about this amazing location. The only thing we want to change will be the price of the tokens, and maybe some larger lockers. The sound in the Heineken Music Hall is still top level, and thats what we need for an ultimate hardstyle event!
We enjoyed every second of this event. There were many moments with the magical feeling, but also many moments the musical aggression of Hardstyle showed his inner self. These two combinations made it to a great X-Qlusive once again. We expected a little more show, something like a flying Ran-D with firesticks? We’d say, this X-Qlusive was amazing due to the great music, artists and atmosphere! Q-dance managed to do a great job, we can’t wait for the next X-Qlusive. Any guesses who they should pick? Leave it in the comments!