Sunday night at the A State Of Trance 650 stage of Ultra Music Festival held a superstar roster of incredible acts and names. This included Jochen Miller, Ørjan Nilsen, Andrew Rayel, Myon & Shane 54, Cosmic Gate, and ended with Paul Van Dyk. Although these guys performed exceptionally well to cap off Ultra and Winter Music Conference overall, the stage also had three special performances that night. The first was a special back-to-back set between Aly & Fila alongside John O’Callaghan. The second was the Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz collaboration side-project New World Punx. But the best was the name that caught the imaginations of trance fans caught completely off-guard.
From 10 to 11 o’clock P.M., the stage was in the hands of Gaia, a name that has never been seen headlining any stage of this caliber. Recently, Gaia released the single “Empire Of Hearts” on Armind and was announced to perform for ASOT 650. We covered the news earlier this year and were surprised to see Armin van Buuren playing two separate sets in the same weekend. Many have heard the evolution of Armin’s sound through his many live performances, but a Gaia set was unheard of. At least, it was unheard of until now.
Both Corsten and Schulz shuffled from the stage and the name “GAIA” lit up the giant screen and sent the crowd cheering in anticipation. This ovation of fans was followed with the lights turning off and two hooded figures stepping up to the stage. For those who only thought Gaia was a sole Armin van Buuren project, the other mystery-man on stage was trance legend Benno de Goeij. There presence was welcomed with an ominous noise hushing the entire area. Cathedral bells rang and gothic corridors came up on the display. A minimal pluck played in the background leading up to a classic trance sound started what became the ultimate set for trance purists. There was no house, no dubstep breaks, no trap, and no microphone interruptions. There was only trance and serenity. It was almost sacred to watch as one of dance music’s older genres reminded everyone why it remains strong to this day.
A statue of an angel glared over the crowd as Gaia songs like “Stellar”, “Humming The Lights”, and “Tuvan” commanded the audience to rave. The next wave of trance included originals or remixes of Armin songs including “The Expedition” with Markus Schulz, “Orbion”, and “Pulsar” from the Intense album. The night ended with Gaia tracks “Aisha”, J’ai Envie De Toi” and “Status Excessus D” as well as Armin van Buuren remixes of Wiegel Miermans Snitker‘s “Nova Zembla” and Frans Bak‘s “The Killing” to fans applauding for a tremendous display of full-blown, 136 bpm action for over an hour and a half. The two trance masters stood back-to-back, clasped their hands, and walked off the stage opposite of the other (like a couple of badasses).
If you want to see the amazing performance by Gaia from Ultra, check out the YourEDM TV video below from UMF TV. It’s uncut and fully captures the set’s non-stop trance-marathon and the energy from the crowd. There is also a track listing of the songs played below. Make sure to leave a comment on what you thought of Armin and Benno’s performance from Miami Music Week.
01. ID – ID
02. Gaia – Stellar
03. Gaia – Humming Of Lights
04. Gaia – Tuvan
05. Armin van Buuren – Communication (Faruk Sabanci Remix) w/ Plastikman – Spactik (Tool)
06. Armin van Buuren – Precious (Mike Saint-Jules Remix)
07. Gaia – Empire Of Hearts
08. Jorn Van Deynhoven – The New Horizons (ASOT 650 Anthem) (Mark Sixma Remix)
09. Armin van Buuren & Markus Schulz – The Expedition (ASOT 600 Anthem)
10. Armin van Buuren – Blue Fear (Ørjan Nilsen 2012 Remix)
11. Armin van Buuren – Orbion
12. Gaia – J’ai Envie De Toi
13. Armin van Buuren – Pulsar
14. Wiegel Mierman Snitker – Nova Zembla (Armin van Buuren Remix)
15. Frans Bak – The Killing (Armin van Buuren Remix)
16. Gaia – Aisha
17. Sasha Carassi & Mikael Jonasson vs Gaia – Status Excessus Void (Armin van Buuren Mashup)
18. Armin van Buuren – Serenity (feat. Jan Vayne)