Dirty Workz, one of the leading hard dance labels, used this year’s Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) to showcase the latest releases as well as good old classic tracks by their greatest artists. As is often the case with such special events, it was a unique experience that you just don’t get at the festivals!
Club Panama is located at the Eastern Docklands of Amsterdam in between ultra-modern glass and steel office buildings and brick warehouses converted into restaurants and art venues. The club itself also is one of the latter, at least from the outside – on the inside, most of the rooms were completely painted in black and only little reminded of the industrial past of the building.
Exception to this was the entrance area which appeared friendly and inviting with white walls, bright wood furniture, and well-maintained green plants in between. You also could purchase tokens for buying drinks directly over here after passing the security and ticket checks.
A token was priced at 4 EUR and if you were thirsty, you had to dig a little deeper into your pocket.
Water, soft drinks, small beer: 1 token
Red Bull: 2 tokens
Vodka Red Bull: 4 tokens
In the basement, multiple rows of locker cabinets waited to accommodate jackets and sweaters. Actually, I’m a friend of lockers instead of wardrobes because you have access to your stuff at any time. Basically, this was the case here, too, but you had to get a locker token priced at 5 EUR from the vending machine every time you wanted to close the locker again.
On the opposite side of the lockers, you could find the toilets which were cleaned halfway regularly but seemed too small for the guest count (there was a line every time, even at the men’s). Once again, you had to open up your wallet and purchase a toilet coin for 2 EUR from a different vending machine (at least that was a “flat rate” for the whole night).
To sum this topic up: Club Panama generally is a great location in my opinion. However, the good impression was corrupted by the jacked-up pricing despite the small drink sizes as well as the sometimes quite arrogant bar staff. Perhaps a different clientele is usually found there but for this kind of event, these things didn’t leave a good impression behind.
The heart of the club was like you know it from many other ones: lowered dance floor, elevated stage. In the back of the stage, two propellers were slowly doing their rounds which fit nicely with the industrial charm of the building. Due to the black walls all around (and even the ceiling was completely black), the light effects came out especially well and colorful!
Above and around the dance floor, there was a generously sized balcony, even with another bar. From up there, you had a phenomenal view of the DJs. Just above your head level, four huge LED walls hung up in wedge shape played elaborate animations customized for the particular artists. On the outside of the balcony railing, the event tech team controlled two more LED panels in addition to the numerous lighting all around.
The sound was crystal-clear both above and below as well as on the side, at the same loud enough but not too loud. Awesome!
Time flew by while a total of eleven Dirty Workz acts and artists showcased their latest works as well as lots of evergreens that you can listen to again and again. Among them, we could find big names in the scene like Coone, Da Tweekaz, and Sub Zero Project, who usually play mainly on the really big stages.
The Psyko Punkz set could definitely not be missed. His track “Love This Life” from 2013 – when they were a duo – still hasn’t lost any of its shine, everyone knew the vocals and sang along. We also listened to his atmospheric song “The Alchemist” which even made it to the Defqon.1 end show last year. Last but not least, he confirmed his connection to the hardstyle scene by singing “My Style” live on stage. Five stars!
Greeted with huge amounts of cheers and applause, Coone brought and played lots of his new singles like “Pray 4 Party”, “All Of The Lights”, and “Dance With My Demons”. The crowd also celebrated his track “Superman” properly, accompanied by an animated Coone Superman flying all over the LED walls. Wouldn’t have minded if his set time had been a bit longer!
You want to party? Wanna have fun? Here is Da Tweekaz! When they played their new (yet unreleased) track “Boom Boom”, there was no one standing still anymore. What kind of ultimate party banger! Followed by “Get Down” and a special uptempo version of their famous Jägermeister track towards the end of their set time, it’s fair to say that these guys totally turned the club upside down!
Many well-known tracks with hard kicks like “Switchblades”, “City Lights”, and “Outta Control” guaranteed a great atmosphere during the Rebelion set. A special highlight was their bootleg of David Guetta’s “Titanium” when everyone started to sing along and mobilized the last energy reserves once again!
Dirty Workz has put together an outstanding artist showcase to kick off this year’s ADE, featuring a terrific line-up that provided an absolutely entertaining night. The artists mainly focused on playing their own productions, the older well-known ones to which everyone can sing along, but also the latest ones which you will soon listen to in front of the big festival stages. At the same time, the club only provided space for a few hundred people, thereby giving the event an exclusive context and making it an experience that you just can’t have at the big festivals. I can only recommend such opportunities to everyone who wants to dive deeper into the hardstyle scene!