Tiësto is one of the biggest names in the electronic dance music scene; he is a producer and DJ and has made a name for himself worldwide as a dynamic, energetic, and talented performer. He has successfully toured around the world many times and was the first live DJ to perform during the Olympic ceremonies at the Athens games. Tiësto had previously released three popular studio albums and has just launched a North American tour to promote his fourth album Kaleidoscope.
Tiësto’s first Canadian stop on the Kaleidoscope tour was at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec and I was lucky enough to attend the show. The doors opened at 8PM with an opening act starting at 9PM, but security was very tight and most of the crowd was filtering in around 9:30 or so. I can say that Tiësto’s opening act, Kill The Noise, was providing an outstanding welcome for everyone as we entered.
The Bell Centre as a venue isn’t the type I prefer for a show like this, in my mind music like Tiësto’s needs to be heard in a club atmosphere. Moving around the seated area till we found a better spot the venue didn’t seem to matter as much anymore. The venue was lit like a club, had a great stage and set in place and amazing visibility to the performer.
Kill The Noise was bringing the crowd into a club feel immediately with his tight set and great mixing skills. Everyone took to their feet right away and was dancing along to his beats and synths. He was very good, but the crowd still started chanting Tiësto’s name around 10:40 in anticipation of the famed DJ coming to the stage.
Well he did not disappoint, almost immediately after Kill The Noise left the stage Tiësto walked in with little to no fanfare and used the gear already on stage to start playing his signature sound. Even though he didn’t come in with a blaze of noise, lights or fanfare everyone knew he was there. The music immediately shifted to his energetic and dynamic style and the crowd looked to the stage.
Dressed, as always, in an understated t-shirt and lacking much of the flashy glasses or jewelry other performers wear, Tiësto immediately got to work on his music and the crowd started reacting to his every beat. Kill The Noise simply had lighting and his gear, Tiësto had a giant set of screens behind him that were tied to his music and lit up as he started to play. I have to say that while the overall setpieces were minimal, the displays were effective in their imagery and added a great deal to the feel of the show.
Tiësto has a sound that is hard to really define, he skirts the edge of traditional electronica sounds but manipulates them in a way that makes them his and unique. He brings a tremendous energy to his shows and from the moment he started the crowd was fluid. Constantly on our feet, moving from seat to seat and the Bell Centre quickly became a club atmosphere with all enjoying the vibe he was creating. I was so into the set that I forgot to start live twittering the show until after 1AM.
Effectively mixing all his songs together in one flowing loop it was hard to distinguish individual tunes during his set. I did however note most of the songs from his new album, in particular his debut track ‘I Will Be Here’ and the title track ‘Kaleidoscope’ as I had listened to that album quite a bit recently. Both were played to great effect with additional set effects like plumes of smoke and millions of confetti pieces flying from the ground. He did not overdo any effects, they issued out at key sound induced moments and the result was dramatic and added to the vibe Tiësto was trying to create.
His mashups, synths, beats, and vocal tracks were excellently mixed through his long and outstanding set. He took the stage before 11PM and he left after 3AM. The packed Bell Centre danced and moved along with the sounds he was creating till we were literally dead on our feet, but there was still an unmistakable energy coursing through all of us. His main set technically ended at 2AM with nearly a 70 minute encore bringing an even stronger vibe to the audience.
Tiësto is normally a man of few words, but he did talk with the crowd from time to time and he was constantly smiling and signaling his enjoyment to all of us in attendance. This is a man who has become wildly successful but still obviously loves to perform, dance and make music that people react to. I have seen many electronica/DJ acts but few impressed me as much as this outstanding show. If you happen to be in an area Tiësto is visiting, you need to experience this show and be prepared to party and dance till the wee hours and love every minute.