Pieter Heijnen alias DJ Thera presented his very last hardstyle album, the final piece of his trilogy “From The Heart”, and invited to Arnhem for a stunning album release party: The end of an era but the beginning of a new journey. Let’s see what made this event a really special one!
It is clear that Thera and his crew did not spare any effort to find the perfect location for this party. The choice fell on the small upper room of Luxor Live, a well-established club that exists already nearly as long as Pieter produces music. Being located directly in the city center of Arnhem, it is easily reachable by public transport, by bike as well as by car. Stucco and paintings on the walls in combination with a wooden floor and lots of glass created a homely atmosphere and an environment totally different from the usual club or festival feeling.
Using the so-called “boiler room” setting, the technicians built up the stage in the midst of the room instead of on one side of it, with absolutely no separation to the guests. A very exclusive atmosphere in a location providing only enough space for a few hundred people, creating rather a private party feeling than the one of a public event – the DJ working the decks in the middle, people partying all around him. To put it in Thera’s words: “We are not artists and fans. We’re all friends, friends of awesome music”.
Criminal Mayhem (techno set)
Criminal Mayhem, who already co-produced with Thera in the past and released music on Pieter’s label “Theracords”, made the start on the musical journey through the evening. His atmospheric intro followed by an energetic hard techno set featuring heavy beats with hardstyle-ish influences combined with flawless mixing fired up anyone in the room real quick.
DJ Thera (From The Heart showcase)
After that it was already time for the set everyone was waiting for, Thera’s album showcase: A trip through the genres of hardstyle, rawstyle, techno and trance, a tribute to his past 20 years and an outlook of where his mind is moving. Playing his new euphoric track “Lift Each Other Up”, techno-influenced “Techno-logy” and his ode to Delete “Legend” including older music from his first two From The Heart albums, he showed the diversity of his musical taste one more time.
Alphaverb (hardstyle classics set)
Even when Alphaverb took over for his hardstyle classics set, the air didn’t really have a chance to cool down and get rid of the sweat humidity while he took the crowd’s minds back in time to the beginnings of hardstyle music with well-known tracks like “Keep The Frequency Clear”.
DJ Thera (raw classics set)
The last set of the day was reserved for Thera’s big finale, a full hour of rawstyle classics. While he gave his own tribute to the scene and long-time DJ colleagues like Crypsis, Delete and Deetox by doing shout-outs and playing their greatest tracks, he himself partied behind the decks like there’s no tomorrow and invited friends to contribute as MCs before he closed down the event with the last track of his new album, the D-Passion remix of “Strength To Justify”.
It’s safe to say that this was not the usual hardstyle party, it definitely was a very special event and I’m very grateful that I had the chance to be part of it. Although it felt a bit like saying goodbye to each other in the end, we can be sure that we’ll hear from him again in the near future and be curious what he’ll come up with. Wishing you all the best on your new path, Pieter!