Like the most euphoric moment of a dance track, the subway ride to the Barclay’s Center was a massive buildup. As the train snaked its way downtown, more and more revelers clad in white head-to-toe hopped aboard, eager to arrive at Sensation Innerspace, the first of its kind in America.
The party’s origins can be traced back to 2000, after the unfortunate death of ID&T CEO Duncan Stutterheim’s brother. Stutterheim decided that his next event would be an all-white affair in memoriam, and thus the famous Sensation was born. It’s been a European dance music staple since, thanks to a combination of spectacular production and some of the hottest acts in the scene.
All expectations were exceeded upon arrival when the arena entrance gave way to a brilliant sight. The giant rotating lotus DJ booth in the middle, the flowery fountains in each corner, the glowing ceiling of orbs, the sea of white in the crowd; what a visual marvel! Dennis Ferrer was rocking the infectious new Hot Natured track, Benediction–a sure sign of excellent music to come.
Ferrer’s bouncy set served as an excellent opening for the biggest set of the night by Fedde le Grand. As orbs and strobes lit up the arena, Fedde kicked off with some delightfully unexpected drum ‘n bass, before launching into the big-room techno he’s famous for. Monstrous builds filled the arena with original tracks like Metrum and a Depeche Mode vs. Deniz Koyu mash-up that will be affectionately referred to from here on out as Jesus Bong (video below).
The Dutch invasion of Brooklyn continued when Joris Voorn took the stage, replacing big builds and earth-shaking drops with smoothly churning tech house beats. Though Voorn’s sound seems better suited to an intimate club setting (his set at Cielo back in June was one of the best of the year), he was able to keep the generally inexperienced dance music crowd grooving through remixes of Lana Del Rey’s Video Games, Nalin & Kane’s Beachball, and his smash-hit Incident (Miyagi).
As Voorn masterfully weaved through blissed-out slow-burners, the visual production got better and better. Dancers performed fluidly on several stage outcroppings and floating balls tilted and twisted into trippier patterns. Nic Fanciulli kicked off his set with Jamie Jones’ remix of Azari & III’s Hungry For The Power, perhaps a nod to the arrival of Sandy? He also played one of the highlight tunes of the night, Tom Middleton’s Penrose Steps, and kept the energy high until close.
With the success of Sensation’s inaugural Friday in America., there’s no doubt that the second day was equally as incredible. Though it may be the tip of the iceberg for dance music in the United States, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better introduction for those still not versed in so-called rave culture. Out-of-this-world production, beautiful music, and flawless execution make the event a lock for future dates in the U.S., and a must-see for casual and hardcore fans alike.