As we jumped out of the cab onto Landsdowne Street, I was immediately engulfed by neon clothing and people already bouncing around in line at House of Blues…..clearly the JACKED tour had landed in Boston. First thing that was made clear from the crowd waiting to get inside (or thrown out already at 9pm), was that this was an all ages show. Although I respect music reaching the youth of the world, I am a firm believer that shows like this in venues like these should be at least 18+….Point made, rant over. Making our way inside, we opened the doors and were greeted by the sounds of R3hab. Already getting the crowd moving with his popular remixes and hard hitting electo sounds, you could feel the hype surrounding the lineup for the evening.
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With R3hab finishing up the tail end up his set, I was under the impression that Mr. Van De Wall himself was going to be on next. Surprisingly though as the music continued on, a different face took the stage and LED lights behind him lit up to clearly show one word…”QUINTINO”. This was a pleasant surprise to say the least. Quintino has been on the fast track to the top in the EDM world recently but this was more or less my first exposure to both his music and live set. “Impressed” would be an understatement as he dropped a fair share of tracks that you would not typically hear on a nightly basis. His energy level was through the roof and the crowd in attendance responded by getting louder and dancing harder. I am pretty sure the soundboard guys also responded as the speaker volume went up a few clicks after the first 10 minutes of his set. Keeping the intensity for a full hour was the perfect lead up for Afro to take the stage and continue the madness.
As the lights dimmed and his signature EDC intro (Major Lazer feat. VYBZ Kartel – Pon De Floor (Afrojack Remix) (Acappella) w/ ID Acappella w/ Afrojack – Bangduck) came through the speakers, the crowd got to a whole new decibel level. Afrojack made his way to the stage and emerged in his signature hoodie with the bottle of Grey Goose already on deck. Feeling the sweat from the crowd, he took off the hoodie and got down to business. The first couple of tracks were easily recognized from his last few live sets (EDC NY/LV, SAMF) but the intensity he brings to the table overshadowed any concern of his ability to throw it down. Although he played the song once, his ability to “take over control” lasted from start to finish. Dropping banger after banger highlights included, Ansol & Dyro – Top Of The World, Rock the House (Afrojack) and his edit of Diddy, Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey – Coming Home (Dirty South Remix) w/ Afrojack – Pacha On Acid. The party never seemed to have an end in sight as Afrojack took multiple swigs from the bottle of Grey Goose and never took his foot off the pedal. At one point, he let the crowd join in his party and came around to the front of the stage to offer a champagne shower to those in the first couple of rows. As he finished out his set, he sat down behind the stage and took a breather before emerging back out and slapping hands with people just beyond the barrier. What I learned from this experience is that Afrojack has made a name for himself in the US and it is pretty simple to understand why. As a DJ, he has evolved with the music scene and collaborated with key artists to make sure his music is always at the highest level. In turn, his live performances are up there with the best around and will only get better as he continues to sell out venues on a nightly basis.