The Terrace at Space Miami was bustling to the brim with trance lovers and curious clubrats when Ferry Corsten took the stage at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning. It was the Dutch superstar’s last show in America before jetsetting to Europe for the next leg of his tour, and Ferry had his music arsenal locked and loaded for what would manifest itself as a very special night.
Known internationally as a pioneering force behind the trance movement, Ferry Corsten is no stranger to the stage. He started producing music at the young age of 16 and has dabbled in every genre from trance to techno to house.
“Back when I started producing was the time when hip-house was big and the first sorts of house music were starting to come out,” Corsten said. “There wasn’t anything like trance or techno, it was just house as the general name for that kind of music and that’s what I produced. Maybe a bit more influenced by the European sounds compared to the Chicago and Detroit stuff but that was me.”
Ferry swayed effortlessly behind the booth, surrounded by LED and video screens that flashed colorful lasers and soulful lyrics into the audience. Armed with a boundless background encompassing every genre imaginable, Ferry touted his diversified musical taste to his fans with a set ranging from melodic trance favorites to hard-hitting electro bangers. The Dutch producer slammed the audience with his powerful signature sound right off the bat, offering up the track Feel It from his newest album, WKND. The crowd cheered in approval and danced along accordingly as the track rose from its drumroll intro into its peaking keyboard melody.
The set continued on a trance high with his infamous tracks like Check It Out and Forever, but also veered into different subgenres with songs such as Porter Robinson’s electro-gem Language and Booka Shade’s dark and deep Honeyslave. Ferry worked the crowd into and out of hot flashes, surprising us at every turn of the nob. His understanding of how to incorporate a variety of sounds into his sets comes as no surprise considering he’s not only a DJ and producer but also the head of his label Flashover Recordings. As label head, Ferry has learned that electronic music grows in waves of trends, with progressive house being last summer’s hottest commodity.
“I can be sitting here putting a big banner up saying “I want trance!” But if producers send me progressive house tracks and they’re actually good tracks then that’s what we go with,” he said, regarding the label’s choice of music releases. “We were always about trying to look for the edgy stuff and we’re still trying to do it.”
And Ferry’s set was nothing short of edgy. With freezing cold fog blasting into the crowd, Ferry dropped fan favorites like his collaboration with Markus Schulz, Loops and Tings, and with Chicane, One Thousand Suns. The anthemic melodies flowed freely through the eager audience who screamed for more. By the time the sun started to peek through the Terrace ceiling, we found ourselves in an exhausted state of euphoria. Exiting the venue, we chattered about Ferry Corsten’s bright future–the third volume of the compilation series Once Upon A Night well under way and the early sketches for the next artist album slowly coming together. Ferry Corsten reminded us what it’s like to watch a DJ have fun on stage, and for that, we are eternally grateful.