On Thursday, September 18th, Orjan Nilsen touched down on the shores of New York to deliver a signature set to an eager Pacha crowd. New York City was ready to end its week in musical mayhem, and with two local legends in tow, trance fans knew the trifecta would impress.
And impress they did. Warming things up just before midnight, Adam Levine took to the decks as the dancefloor started to fill. A local mainstay, Adam is a versatile artist whose sound doesn’t abide by any boundaries; a fitting opener for the evening’s headliner. For a warm up set, Adam set the bar high. Trance bangers likes Markus Schulz’s “Nothing Without Me” had the crowd moving instantly, while Ben Gold’s Garuda classic “Where Life Takes Us” sent the dancefloor into a flurry of shuffles. Taking things up a notch, Adam had the crowd singing along to every word of Sander van Doorn’s classic “Love Is Darkness.” As the clock struck 1 he closed out his set, leaving the room at a perfect energy level for the headliner of the night.
Opening up with an ID that’s rocked his sets for the past year, Orjan started out strong. A nod to his developing sound, the track is a hard-hitting blend of melody and energy that pushes limitations of defined genres. As an icon in the dance music scene, Orjan’s recent musical development towards trance-infused electro has been somewhat of a controversy to long-time fans. While some artists tend to shy away from taking chances, Orjan storms in and takes over with a surge of confidence and no limitations — the mark of a true viking. His recent evolution proves his versatility as an artist, and is exactly what rocked the crowd this past Thursday night.
Transitioning seamlessly out of his ID, Orjan weaved into Alesso’s “Tear the Roof Up.” A funky blend of groove and feel, the track set the tone for the first part of his set, marked by its progressive electro intensity. Sander van Doorn’s “Get Enough” and Orjan’s own “Endymion” kept the masses moving. By this point a crowd had built; it was a sizeable bunch for a weeknight, but with ample space for fans to dance. With viking helmets strewn about the crowd, the vibe was perfect. Dash Berlin’s “Here Tonight” and Armin van Buuren’s “Save My Night” brought the singalong factor, and even Orjan’s recent collaboration with Cosmic Gate, “Here Tonight,” had fans singing along to synth lines. The set transitioned through an array of tracks, leading up to a run of Orjan’s recent artist album “No Saint of Me.” “Xiing” and “Violetta” stood out as Nilsen classics, and his monster of a collaboration with Christina Novelli, “Hurricane” had Trance Family’s hands up in the air. It was the perfect blend of sounds, styles and genres, wound up into a set that flew by in an all-too-short two hours.
Leaving his mark on NYC once again, Orjan gave way to local sensation Mike Saint-Jules to close out the evening. The night was a perfect indication of what Orjan Nilsen the artist is all about. Always one to bring his all, he pulled out all stops on this Thursday evening and confidently rocked the historic venue’s dancefloor. Hard-hitting and limitless, this is an artist whose originality shines, and will continue to for years to come.
Originally written for ENL by Kassy Ruimy