It’s nearly sunrise in Arnhem and my muscles are still vibrating from the rumbling basses which are still shattering though my body. The adrenaline still lies in the air and yet again we wrecked the GelreDome. It was a night that nobody will forget, that’s for sure, and for me one of the best Qlimax’s. 27.000 party people from all around the whole world gathered this one night to see what’s hiding behind the curtain this year!
My first step into the GelreDome and I am just seeing these red glowing cubes in the air. I am counting twelve on each side. A soft, theatralic music is playing in the background. It was the atmosphere sound that we know from the trailer or the website. Nothing is happening right now. A few light beams are shining down. It feels like aliens want to beam you up. Suddenly the lights are moving, the music is getting tense, a kick, everybody is looking to the front… but the music calms down and nothing happens. This fake sweep ups made me crazy because I couldn’t stand the excitement anymore.
I was walking around the twelve “things” hanging in the air and just wondered what they can do. After I saw the ropes it was clear to me. These things can move up and down, hopefully packed with lasers, fireworks and lights. At this moment I had no clue how low they can get. Six speaker sets on each side of the GelreDome – I was sure that the sound will be killing tonight.
It was time, a big bang and the first intro was starting. I was ready to get wrecked!
Music and sets
After a sweep up Qlimax started with an awesome new track by Technoboy, Tuneboy & Isaac. The first seconds gave it away, the female vocals from “Digital Nation”, a few seconds silence, the first reverse bass drop and everybody started dancing. Technoboy & Audiofreq were announced to rock the first one and a half hour. Their set was dominated by old school euphoric tracks. Even Showtek made it into the set with “Electronic Stereophonic”, of course everybody was singing along! Some new tracks with big room accents were also played every now and then. “Ghettoblaster” by Audiotricz was one of my favorites right before the end of the set. All in all we got what we expected and a little bit more. The influence by Technoboy with some old school bangers was clearly noticeable.
“He is here to guide you on a psychedelic trip. The one and only, Headhunterz!”
We went crazy after the stage was revealed and Headhunterz dropped his first track “Shocker” in an exclusive Qlimax edition. After the second track it was finally clear that Heady will combine his old classics with new slower tracks known from Hard with Style. He released the “Dragenborn” with an epic “Fus Ro Dah!” (also as a Qlimax edit) and kept the charm and vocals, but still adding a new, fast paced, big room house intro. Things got tense while the crowd was singing the melody of “Psychodelic” or a bit later the unforgettable lyrics from “Reignite” (Credits to Malukah) in the mix with vocals from “Tonight”. And the list of good mash ups or edits goes on. Headhunterz played 23 tracks in less than one hour, nearly double the amount of a normal set and the most tracks in one set at Qlimax 2014.
Other honorable mentions:
- Megasound, I can still feel the bass in my chest.
- Subsonic, including a new and cleaner intro kick.
- Scrap Attack, with vocals from Lessons in Love and great drums.
- Bounce & Break (Atmozfears Remix)”, isn’t that a hardcore kick?
- The Madman, a perfect rough ending of this set.
Frontliner started with a great mashup of “Can’t Hold Us” and his “Never Come Down” bootleg. After this track it was mainly a showcase of all his greatest tracks from the last years. With all respect to Frontliner: for me this was the worst Qlimax set this year. His predecessor just rocked the stage so hard with awesome mashups, and it was just not enough.
It was time for Noisecontrollers, the man behind the anthem. Check out his Anthem Show before we go into details!
Ok, I was skeptical with the anthem of this year, but as I saw it live at Qlimax it fits perfectly to the theme. Especially the female choir combined with the kick, and wobble sounded brilliant. “Apollo” was the next great edit on the list. Noisecontrollers added his own vocals from “Gimme Love” and of course the main melody. But buckle your pants ’cause the next mashup between “Circles” and “We’ll Be Coming Back” gave me goosebumps. After that he played many of his own tracks, keeping it euphoric and “danceable”. Honorable mentions from his set:
- Faster ‘N Further (Bass Modulators Remix + Edit), one of the best tracks in this set!
- The Source Code Of Creation (Qlimax 2014 Edit), YES, he played the same track with more stutters and wobbles.
After the longest sweep up in my entire life with over 4 minutes of “Wau….Wau…Wau.Wau.Wau. Fake Drop…”. We finally “faced the darkness with Ran-D”. He played all the top notch rawstyle tracks and created a very nice transition between rawstyle and the upcoming hardcore. “Das Weite Land” is one of the few tracks in the genre where you don’t sing the vocals but the screech. The results were some raging “Da da da’s” from the crowd. After “FCK EDM”, one of his new tracks showcased, Ran-D played an English version of “Big Fat Bass Record” and we “moved to the left and to the right”. The other track in this mashup is still unknown. Last but not least a bone breaking raw track and favorite of the night “Seven”.
“Get ready for the ultimate face off with Crypsis!” Many different rawstyle tracks from Crypsis himself, Outbreak and Radical Redemption. The only highlight for me was “Psycho” with a great rap part and different live FX’s from Crypsis (stutter and flanger). Nothing more to add here – great set and a huge variety of music!
It was time for a Hard Ending. Endymion, The Viper and Partyraiser. 30 Minutes to perform for each of them! Endymion started with banging tracks starting with melodic tunes and ending with faster, rougher tracks. The transition to hardcore was well made. The edit of “Raging In The Dancehall” was awesome! Both The Viper and Partyraiser were introduced very quickly, as the intros got shorter and shorter, played mainly old school hardcore tracks and brought everybody to his limit! Q-Dance and Qlimax sad goodbye with a big bang!
The sound was perfect, the low basses and high leads. At Qlimax you could hear the years of experience that Q-Dance has.
Show and design
This year’s stage broke the wall between audience and DJ by including twelve big DNA replicas arranged in in the middle of the GelreDome hanging in the air, above the crowd. Together they represented one DNA strand fitting perfectly into the theme “The Source Code of Creation”. The stage was showing an open minded man waiting to “activate his DNA”. If you looked closely you could spot a small glittering ball behind the head coming slowly down as time passed. Four LED circles, going around the head, supported the light show. Lights, lasers and fire – nothing was missing.
A few highlights were when the LED displays showed 3D objects flying around or particle coming closer. That gave me an optical illusion that the whole stage is moving. A fog full of lasers, mainly in green, flew past me and what you are seeing in the pictures is not even close to the experience that you make. It feels like they are scanning you and your whole body is taken by the light show.
Music and show played well together and my huge respect for the light jockeys behind the desks.
The stage was a bit abstract and it took me over three hours to understand the full meaning behind it. After I saw the flying double helix I had that “Oh Yes” moment. Furthermore the show was missing a real climax and the ending wasn’t that great compared to the Anthem Show for example. Still an awesome show and by far the best in 2014!
The GelreDome couldn’t be a better location for Qlimax. You could find one merchandise shop in front of the entrance and two inside the Stadium. Enough food and drink stands or other consumables like gum or cigarettes. The best thing was, that you were able to refill your water bottle or just drink tap water, saving you some money. Tokens costs 2,60€ each and are a little bit expensive than the average. While walking through the crowd, it was very relaxed and you could move without jostling (credits to the awesome hardstyle scene for being so damn polite!). Even if I know how hard it can be to solve this problem: everybody was smoking inside the GelreDome making it hard for non smoking people.
Qlimax was an “out of this world” experience and we highly recommend it. Starting with hardstyle and ending with hardcore. With the best light show and stage design Qlimax is outstanding. If you are a fan of the harder styles Qlimax is absolutely a must. You don’t know what you’re missing, trust me! And as always, I leave you with the deep Q-Dance voice: “This was Qlimax 2014 – See you next year!”