Some good things only come to us once in a blue moon, but during this edition of the Amsterdam Dance Event the Dutch capital has tons of amazing performances to offer. Armin van Buuren is no exception to that rule, as he treated his loyal trance fanbase to a series of massive surprises in the first days of ADE. Yesterday he performed 60 meters above the ground while announcing the ASOT #900 theme and anthem (‘Lifting You Higher’), and the first name of the line-up, it being UK trance trio Above & Beyond. The night before, he teamed up with good friend Benno de Goeij of Rank 1 for another rare performance, this time one of their combined alter ego and side project Gaia.
So far, the mysterious duo have released a pretty larger number of huge hits since their first collaboration as Gaia, which already started back in the year 2000 when their track ‘4 Elements’ was released. More recently, they released hits like ‘Crossfire’ and ‘Inyathi’. Even though Gaia performances are rare, Armin van Buuren and Benno de Goeij always stick to their concept of dressing up in their trademark, obscured outfits of black cowls, adding to the mystery of the act. Music wise, the duo once stated that the alter ego is formed in order to to “captivate the synthesis between old and new and transcend genres”.
Wednesday night’s Gaia performance (titled ‘Moons of Jupiter’) totally lived up to that quote. It took place at Paradiso and the iconic Amsterdam venue was completely packed with an ecstatic crowd of international trance lovers. The set started extremely experimental – even for a Gaia performance – with elements of minimal and tech-trance, slowly but surely raising the beats per minute as ‘Moons of Jupiter’ progressed. Towards the end of the two-hour set, the duo also dropped a couple of Gaia’s previous monster hits like ‘Status Excessu D’ and ‘Empire of Hearts’.
Check out a video clip of Armin van Buuren and Benno de Goeij’s Gaia performance during ADE 2018 down below.