While most of America has been swooped up in the electronic dance music craze over the past few years, our friends overseas have been dancing away for the better part of the last decade. If you have any friends overseas, or who have studied abroad, they have most likely come to you with stories about Sensation – an enormous dance music extravaganza that mixes top notch visual productions with some of the biggest names in house music.
After many years of rumors and anticipation, and events everywhere from Spain to Germany to South Korea, Sensation has finally landed in America. Brooklyn’s brand new Barclays Center was the host for two days of dance music mayhem with an indoor production unparalleled in recently memory. The production team behind Sensation brought together a great line-up of DJs from across the globe, including Fedde Le Grand, Danny Tenaglia, and Dennis Ferrer, yet it was clear that the intentions was for the audience to be focused on the visual spectacle rather than the individual performers on stage.
There are a few things you should know about Sensation if you aren’t familiar with the event. The most obvious is dress code – everyone is required to wear at least 80% white clothing. I’m not sure how this was enforced – maybe there was a style jury going around making decisions? – but everyone inside was wearing white. Sensation is also structured differently than most other events you may be familiar with. There is a giant, flower-like structure in the middle which everyone else in the venue seems to gravitate around. In other areas of the arena are other installations, some that become fountains, shoot pyro, or display lights. It’s quite the visual experience – especially since it seems things are happening all around you, and you can really walk entirely around the arena and see everything from different angles.
Musically, the most striking thing to the audience is the genre of music: Sensation is all about house music. For the older EDM fans, this was like a dream come true. A return to the days where house music was the dominant genre in a land before womps and wobbles. For the new breed of dance fans, who are used to six different stages, a new flavor every week, and a variety of genres – it may have felt it a bit stale. There was nothing there for fans of trance or dubstep or drum and bass – but that was the point. It was a night of pure house music bliss.
Pure house music bliss is really the best way to describe it, come to think of it. The beats stayed consistently awesome all night, the music was top notch, and the visuals were nearly unparalleled. If you long for the days of house music, when EDM were just three random letters – this night was probably pure magic. For everyone else, it was a fantastic night of dance that most will never forget. Hopefully, the way these two nights sold out so quick, and the way the fans responded, this will solidify Sensation in America as a dance music brand to be reckoned with.