I AM HARDSTYLE – Introduced in 2015, Brennan Heart & Musical Madness brought the grand event to Germany. One week ago Brennan Heart, Zatox, Atmozfears, Radical Redemption, Blademasterz and many more took over the Maimarkthalle, Mannheim. It was the, yet, biggest hardstyle event Germany has ever seen. We predicted an extraordinary edition of I AM HARDSTYLE, as Musical Madness is known for top quality dance events. Could they satisfy all our expectations? The expected game-changer?BEEP, BEEP! My alarm was going at 10 o’clock, I slept some great hours to have all the energy I need. A quick stop at the toilet. Time for breakfast and coffee. If there is something I love in the morning, it’s the specific smell of coffee (black) and buns in the oven. The first thoughts about tonight are shooting through my brain, the first question appeared – the excitement is rising.
I put on my clothes, preferible our Hardstyle Mag shirt, black shorts, nice Airmax and a snapback. The moment I left the house felt like the start of a great journey. I was on my way to cologne, to get to the pick up point of the Hardtours bus. Did I forget something? Do I have my keys? Money? On my way to cologne I thought about the upcoming bus trip of nearly 7 hours. I was actually a little afraid I’d rather experience a lack of energy after such a long ride.However, the bus trip proved me wrong. Everything worked well. The bus was on time, made a few stops and brought us all safely to the destination of today: Mannheim. It was a quite funny trip, the people were crazy, drinking, some even did let it snow. While passing the entrance area of the venue, some people were already standing in front of the still closed doors. I gathered my stuff such as ear plugs, ID and money, warm clothes and left the bus. Time to team up with my french Hardstyle Mag colleague. Was great to see him!
The doors opened a little later than planned, causing us to enter the venue quarter past eight! However, the security was friendly and took a quick look at my ID. Somehow, they didn’t check me. After a short walk I reached the entrance of the huge hall. On the left side the first and main cash card point, a little further the food corner, to the right the lockers. I was glad to grab and charge a Cash Card without waiting.
No tokens, no money. Simply charge the card with money at one of the 5 terminals. Really liked the system and for me, it worked pretty well. What I would have loved to see: Charging the Cash Card via Credit Card at all five terminals. Sadly, I also recognized some delay and bigger waiting lines around 10 to 11 o’clock.
I stepped foot into the huge main hall. A.S.Y.S was playing, the floor was empty. In the back the VIP tribune. The huge LED screen of the stage was already showing the first visuals. Looked great! I felt a little sorry for A.S.Y.S since the doors opened a few minutes later than planned. However, he was a great opener.
Next up was Galactixx, I was really looking forward to them. I never heard them, but I think they had some solid releases. As expected, it was a great euphorical mix of older classics, their latest releases and also at least two new tracks. I remember when they dropped Tonight in the Alpha² remix. The original one is one of my absolute favourite hardstyle tracks, but this remix has some quite remarkable aspects as well. I’d love to see them on bigger stages. They really delivered some good energy and a lovely warm up set.Followed by Atmozfears and Audiotricz as well as TNT the first 4 hours passed by. The sets felt like a good build up to what’s coming. At least I felt this way. Atmozfears and Audiotricz delivered a good performance with a nice hard ending. The Project by Sub Zero Project was blasting through the speakers. The moment I recognized it, I was already excited for the psy-trance-hardstyle intro part.
The strict, simple bassline, with the typical SZP screeches – a goddamn wonderful combination! The fact that I heard around seven or eight Psy-Trance-Hardstyle songs or at least edits (Year of Summer Psy edit f.e.) not only shows artist’s interest in this new influences, but also evoke an inner satisfaction. With every Psy-trance intro or even climax part, the whole dome went crazy, absolutely stunning! The true I AM HARDSTYLE feeling!
During the end of TNTs set, I was almost right before exploding. I seriously couldn’t wait for Brennan Heart. The man of the night and the one who shares so many great memories and tracks with us all. The crowd was waiting as well, like an electric/magnetic field, connecting us, I felt the excitement within the whole venue! With a big bang Brennan Heart claimed his throne behind the decks. His set was a dazzling ride through his discography and the WE R label.One of the most remarkable moments of I AM HARDSTYLE – Germany: 15 minutes Brennan Heart feat. Jonathan Mendelsohn, who performed live on stage and during his collaborations with Brennan Heart.
If there was one set which really surprised me it was Code Black & Toneshifterz. These two guys from down under made me question many sets I heard in the past months. Why? Simply because of the diversity they put into the set and therefore some sort of tension. It was great to hear Code Black’s latest releases. It was awesome to witness Toneshifterz latest releases.
But what made this set special was the combination with older tracks by both artists, as well as mashups and the way of mixing. Go back to 2013 when Toneshifterz had his “Last Night” release, or “Never Break Me” or Wild Wild Weekend (which is besides, one hell of a great anthem!). I wished he would go back in time even further, just think of We Are The Future or About The Music. Maybe another time.
Do I really need to explain or even start talking in-depth about the next act? I think, I just leave his name here and the fact that this set was even crazier than the one at Qlimax: Blademasterz. Especially the remix of Secret of The Blade and Brennan hearts Sacrifice remix.With a great feeling of freedom, euphoria and adrenaline rushing through my veins I ran straight into the next sets. The music was getting rougher. Zatox gave his very best. I need to admit, I am not the biggest Zatox fan. But the combination with Brennan Heart on stage lead to some sick tracks. The perfect introduction for Frequencerz. This duo rocked the stage and although I saw them many times, they are still highly enjoyable. With Renegades they have the next huge hit ready and I can’t wait for the release.
The end of I AM HARDSTYLE – Germany came closer and the more I thought about the last one hour, the more I wanted to go back to 10 o’clock! Radical Redemption was closing the event in style. Brutal 3.0, Brutal 5.0, Brutal 6.0 were blasting through the speakers, who already reached their peak of volume 3 hours earlier. But the powerful kicks by Radical Redemption took away my last breaths. Ending the set with hardcore, I AM HARDSTYLE – Germany ended with a big bang!Stage-wise and show-wise, I really need to admit: This is the best I’ve seen in Germany for a while. All the lights, lasers and additional effects such as fire and lots of fireworks, made me feel like I’m visiting an even in NL! The animations on the screen looked more than professional and underlined the music in the best moments. Musical Madness not only brought the I AM HARDSTYLE concept to Germany, they also delivered the biggest hardstyle event in Germany with a quality we are all used to and other organizers can learn from. Failures or smaller impairments couldn’t be found.
However I’d also like to point out the slightly negative aspects. The waiting lines for drinks was way too long and the stuff couldn’t handle the amount of people. But after 2 o’clock in the morning the problem didn’t occur anymore. Next time there should be one or two more bars or more stuff. Second, from which I can’t talk about, the waiting lines to get the cash card. Maybe this can be fixed with more stuff as well. I didn’t experience any problems.When thinking back to this edition of I AM HARDSTYLE I can just sum up: The feeling of being part of something huge, something that will change the scene in Germany and the feeling of being part of an event which will shatter through Germany for the next months was great and made us oversee the tiny I left the venue with a big smile, with a great feeling of satisfaction and hopes, to relive I AM HARDSTYLE – Germany or something similar by Musical Madness soon!