Friday Night: Ferry Corsten at Rich's

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Ferry Corsten, Lawrence & Celauro Rich's May 18, 2012

What better way to start your weekend than with the Ferry Corsten WKND tour?

Corsten may have fallen in the ranks of DJ Magazine's yearly Top 100 DJ Poll, from No. 7 in 2009 to 18 in 2011, but that didn't stop him from dropping his beats harder than any other DJ. Friday night's WKND tour stop at Rich's showed his stock may climb in this year's poll.

Ferry brought out the crowd; maybe some were unhappy about not seeing Avicii the night before. Regardless, the venue was packed, with speakers blasting away.

Openers Lawrence & Celauro are a duo to keep an eye on. Houstonians themselves, they sure knew how to have a good time. The crowd seemed stunned by how the opening performance got them ready for Corsten. Their music was so progressive; no one could keep from dancing.

I overheard several "Who the hell are they?" and "They sound amazing"' remarks and had to jot down L&C myself for future reference. However, it was well known who the crowd was present for. Lawrence & Celauro were the perfect batter to the cake, but Corsten was the icing on top.

Hailing from The Netherlands, Corsten has been in the game of producing, DJing and remixing since 1989. However, his rise to fame didn't come until 1999, when his second solo project ever, System F, was released.

The album, Out of the Blue, had melodic tunes that swept dance floors and movements of people worldwide. Since then, he has risen to the UK Top 20 and collaborated with names such as Tiësto, Benny Bennasi and Vincent de Moor.

Corsten's style meets in the middle of trance and house, progressing through them both. He built a slow momentum through a trance section until phasing it into progressive house music that got the crowd continuously dancing. Not to mention that custom lights spewed happiness onto the crowd's many faces.

Of course, Corsten was called out to the stage by a demanding "Ferry!" chant. When he appeared, the crowd went bonkers. The music started out kind of soft. I thought, all right, Ferry is going to go for something, but with the switch or click of a button, the technical difficulties were over.

Cue bass. BLAM! A blast of Corsten's energy set the makings for an uplifting set.

His hit "Ain't No Stoppin'" (featuring Ben Hague) allowed the crowd to sing along. Yes, sometimes the world of EDM lacks lyrics (it's electronic dance music, after all), but Corsten had it all, blasting classic hits such as "Punk," "Made of Love" and "Radio Crash" from his many albums before the new WKND.

But better yet, Ferry possessed the power to throw in a common Skrillex beat, but didn't allow it to take over his music. Sir Corsten stuck to his true trancy self and made Skrillex sound like nothing I have ever heard before.

The WKND tour surely was the perfect way to start your weekend. I don't know if it was the lights, the crowd, the music or the glittered-up go-go dancers, but that equation amounted to a pretty good time.

To all those who weren't present, I hope you get some WKND in your system for preparation for next time.

Personal Bias: Oh, Rich's, how have you been? It's been awhile. Back to Ferry, I've never been a huge fan, but I can say that tonight may have just put me back into trance mode.

The Crowd: Young and old lovers of trance and house, not to mention the women clearly in their thirties or older dancing on top of the couches.

Overheard in the Crowd: "This is insane! This is the most crowded we've been in a while," a blond bartender said. And of course the "C'mon N' Ride It" train noise from the crowd. "Woo, Woo!"

Random Notebook Dump: Way to forget earplugs! My ears are royally screwed in life. I hear the ringing already.

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