Ok, so I like electronic dance music, more specifically Trance. When I started in the 1990's, the US was a bit behind in that department.
Still, with San Francisco and San Jose nearby, I've had some opportunities to see some great EDM/Trance DJs. Back in the early 2000's, they sadly played club music in the US that was nowhere close to the hits they had composed and were known for, but over the years, as Trance started becoming more popular, those DJs finally started playing their good tunes in the US too, and maybe from 2004 on, it's only been getting better. Popsicle Halloween 2004 was really the beginning of great music parties in the San Francisco Area, and thankfully things have gotten even better since then
As a matter of fact, after another 10 years (2015 and beyond) the good news is that Trance has grown quite a following in the US, and places like the SF Bay Area, and while Trance has been declared dead a few times in the last 10 years, it's still going strong here.
Trance Family SF is definitely strong in the area, we've been getting more big trance parties every year, including many top DJs that come visit us what feels like every other week now (as of 2018-2019), and through those events, I made many friends in Trance Family SF. Thanks to you all.
Over those years, I got the chance to meet a few of my favourite DJs, including Armin more than once, and my last hobby has been to work on lights for my shirt and pants (version 3) and (version 4)
Thanksgiving had one more party, Give Thanks in Sacramento. It was a bit of a drive, including accidents, and due to noise complaints the previous day, it started 1h earlier than planned without warning and ended 1.5h late :( As a result, we missed the first 2 DJs which kind of sucked.
Oh well, we still got there in time for Gareth, 3rd time seeing him in 48h, a record :)
and we finally got him with his picture :)
Of course, ran into friends as always:
Then came time for Above and Beyond:
push the button is back!
and got lucky to get this picture :)
Let's have another gratitude mix for the road :)
It ended way too early (22:30), but given the 2H drive home, it wasn't terrible I guess. Fun was had, rest of the weekend was spent to sleep :)
After LSR/City at San Jose Civic, we went to the after party at the Ritz, it had been almost 20 years since I went to that club, fun to be back. Took forever to get in, but we got in just in time for Gareth's 1h30 set:
It had been 4 years since Gareth Emery came for the the last Laserface in SF (now LSR/City), and after the somewhat disappointing LSR/City in Vegas (Gareth was great, the lasers were underwhelming), it was great to see a real setup again.
To be entirely honest, the laser setup in SF in 2018 was actually a bit better, but the one in San Jose was also very good and quite enjoyable. The main downside was lack of lighting on stage so literally couldn't see Annebel on stage, just an outline:
But back to the show, it was the best laser show I had seen in the last 4 years, and a great set from Gareth, lots of fun
We were hoping to get balloons in, but they were not allowed :(
Glad to see friends again:
After the openers, it was time for the main show:
Gareth played guitar for us
Nice setup to run all this, could even see the track that was about to be played:
And then Gareth took us on a musical journey, that included psytrance and dubstep, along with lasers :)
Here's the video of the whole show. The recording isn't as good as the professional recording will be, but it should still be good:
I don't want to sound like a fanboy, but hot damn, Dreamstate is genuinely getting better every year, and last years didn't suck!
It was so much more fun to go with friends and I also made a few extra displays for my outfit:
and I found my Dreamstate girlfriends again, so happy :)
What was new this year was the after party from 02:00 to 06:00 which was a great last minute addition for anyone who didn't have a long drive home. Also, it was good not to have 3 conflicts every hour, because damn, that was the rest of dreamstate for me, I really wanted to be at 3 stages almost every hour. I wouldn't be mad if DS switched to 3 days with 3 stages instead of 2 days with 4 :)
The lineup was solid like I said:
I got a good shot from the plane, nice to see from high up, Vision on the left, Void in the middle, Sequence on the right by the entrance, and Vision adjacent to the oval racetrack:
The lights and decors were awesome as always:
The stages were as follows:
The void got bigger and nicer this year
And Vision was indoors as usual, nice but the stage was badly lit
Dreamstate is the biggest Trancefamily Reunion, so many friends, and I didn't even get to see them all, but it was great to see the ones I did:
so great to run into my DS Harbor friend Emily
she was so sweet and made an custom tranceledguy kandi
and it's not a party without Afik and his crew :)
Danielle from TFLA
Trancefamily SF, represent!
Ran into copycats, haha
I thought that was funny :)
I'm easily amused ;)
So, let's start with Day #1, we almost managed to get there when it opened, not bad given the travel and hotel issues:
arrived in time to see my friend Khromata for more great psytrance
Hana and her angelic singing was great to see again
Then we had the Trancefamily Meetup Pictures:
And back for Elysian to see Emma Hewitt and ilan Bluestone:
It was great to be able to meet them both:
Ben Nicky also had a very enjoyable set
But it was time for some psytrance triplets, stopping by Ms Monique on the way:
Up to Liquid Soul for some lovely psytrance:
so much fun to meet again
Then Astrix was next, for more technical psytrance, focussed as always:
Back to Dream for PvD:
And then ending with a Aly & Fila b2b John O Callaghan:
stage lighting was minimal unfortunately
Short Video Summary:
After minimal sleep from day #1, we didn't quite make opening time for #2, but just in time to see Rinaly just before her set at Vision:
Then was time to see Ruben de Ronde:
pretty full by then already
But yes, I wanted some more psytrance, so we went to see Whiteno1se:
And while there, it was great to hang out with some of my favorite psytrance DJs:
3rd time is a charm, Blastoyz finally looks like his picture :)
and Reality Test
Then back to Dream for ATB and then Audien:
And then Armin. I was hoping he'd finally play a classic trance set, given that it was, you know, dreamstate, but he played some mainstage set again, that was disappointing. The set wasn't bad per se, but a poor choice for dreamstate in my opinion:
Abraxis was last, hard to get pictures with no proper lighting on stage:
and just like this, it was 02:00, the main show was over
But not the afterparty in Vision, 4 more hours to go:
Craig Connelly and FactorB finished the set with some pure trance joy
It's not a good party if the sun hasn't risen when it's over :)
And just like that, the 2 days, 26H of trance, were over. I cannot give enough thanks to insomniac, all the artists and everyone who brought in outfits, smiles, and good vibes.
Video summary of Day #2:
Should you go? Would I go Back?
OMG, Yes! This is literally the best dreamstate event in the world, end of story!
Is it EDC Vegas level crazy? No. Is it Beyond Wonderland level pretty decors and performers? No quite, but it has so much more trance Is it Luninosity level 11hx4 days of trance? Not exactly, but it is much better production value. You also avoid being sunburned and rained on, like you will at Lumi :)
I'll repeat that other insomniac festivals, like EDC and Dreamstate, all the staff truly cares and goes all out. Many small details that get sometimes missed elsewhere, are usually flawless
I'll also repeat that security is more than reasonable as usual, thank you
San Bernardino is not the best city ever, but there are only so many places such festivals can be held, especially with a 02:00 curfew. The one downside of Dreamstate is that it doesn't have shuttles yet. Maybe in the future?
With the afterparty until 06:00, it's now more than 12H of trance, only 2 days, but plenty of music!
4 stages is more than enough. It's already too many conflicts as is :)
Is it worth flying across the world for? If you like trance and you want a better production value than many european shows (not counting Tomorrowland and arguably untold), yes, it is worth going to. Only 2 days, but it's really good and the night decors and costumes are much better than what you'll find in Europe.
Right after going to Shoreline for Odesza, I had enough time to go home, change, and head out to Pure for Haliene. Such a treat, and so close to home. Glad I didn't miss it.
Haliene did a wonderful performance, with so much love and energy. I was delighted to get front row to that show.
Glad to run into Robert again, he must have a season pass at Pure :)
The video is unfortunately of poor sound quality, because, well, the sound at Pure was bad. The music was too loud and Haliene's voice was had to hear:
But I got to meet her at the end and get a great picture with her:
Ok, I have to admit that I didn't know Odesza, but after a couple of recommendations, I went to chck it out with a friend, and it was quite a nice show. Interestingly it was actually the first sit down show I had seen at shoreline even though I work across the street :)
For a change, I tried to not take my cameras and just use my Pixel7 Pro. Given the distance, using a 5X zoom from a distance on a cell phone with a small sensor, was not going to be great, but the phone did not as poorly as I expected. It didn't match my real cameras of course, but did ok-ish.
A few pictures below, oh yes and the show as actually quite good. Interesting music (melodic dubstep and other genres), and great visuals:
Good show, and got out just in time to go home, change, and go see Haliene at Pure
Well, this was a treat, not just infected mushroom, but a 1.5 hour live set with band and all, followed by a DJ psytrance set from 01:00 to 02:00.
Really good joint Dreamstate/Opel Production show, thanks Syd Gris and Ulrich.
Great to see the TFSF crew again, and the usual suspects, plus other random fun pictures with people
Anna, our TFSF embassadress, mingling with the crowds
She even made kandi for the band
The show included 2 opening DJs:
And to our surprise, infected mushroom brought an entire band, I had a couple of outfits ready of course :)
Then, the band took over, it wsa a great show packed with energy:
For the last hour, they switched to playing a psytrance DJ set, which was quite enjoyable too:
It definitely was a great night, definitely an enjoyable show, especially with the unexpected live piece. Thank you.