What started off as a manifestation of a trance lover’s wet dream has now evolved into a movement for what once was thought as a dying genre. Growing up in the-middle-of-nowhere-Visalia-California, I was surrounded by cows, immigrants trying to find their American Dream through their children and radio stations flooded with rap and hip-hop (the booty shaking music). Trying to find my taste in music, I found salvation through old CDs that had classic tracks such as Tiesto’s “Traffic” or ATB’s “Ecstasy” burned onto it. In my teens, I would imagine myself to be at a ‘90s rave as “Sandstorm” blared its dun-dun-dun onto the dancefloor, surprising my dates while they are still stuck on the dance moves associated with “Get Low.”
This Memorial Day weekend I was able to (again) fulfill my teenage dreams of being on a dancefloor where trance reigned supreme. For those of you who want my short TL;DR: Dreamstate was awesome. Great people who made the experience. There, now you can stop reading; I’ll continue for those who wants to know more.
The music was amazeballs. Saturday seemed to be a much more euphoric night filled with melodic melodies. Whereas Sunday was a night for those who wanted to party! Not saying that there was a HUGE difference in feels and raging between both nights but that is how I saw it.
Markus Schulz visual experience the Nine Skies stole the show Saturday night. Unlike other Schulz shows, DSSF was the first time he played as his Dakota alias in the City. Along with new music, Dreamers went on a mind-expanding journey through the Nine Stages of Enlightenment. We saw videos of President Trump that enraged Dreamers to put their middle fingers in the air as well as messages of peace from notable people like Dr. King and Tupac accompanied by a remix of “The Way It Is.”
There were a few times where I thought the Dreamstate setup limited some of the visual, video, and on-screen text. The triangular frame did not seem to hinder other DJs, but because Schulz set was trying to tell a story I thought that a square screen would have been better. Lasers were totally legit, though. Mad props.
As much as I love jumping around to “Great Spirit” during Vini Vici set, or raging face to the psytrance of Astrix, closing out DSSF with Gareth Emery is my Sunday night winner. His set had a lot more quote-unquote trance than the previous times I have seen him. But what made his set my favorite is how his melodies brought people together. Whether it be bellowing out the lyrics of “Hands” or locking arms to arms with your best friends under an array of lasers while everyone sings off-key to “Saving Light,” his set was one a very heartwarming one.
Aside from the music, it’s the people who attend Dreamstate that makes the experience worthwhile. Unless you’re one of the few who went with an evil crew, then you have my condolences. While walking around the dancefloor, I was reunited with old faces from days when hangovers were just a myth old people preach to scare you. I saw people from my old Kelly’s Mission Rock days that have moved away from SF. There were even people that I would frequently see when Skills used to throw Lovefest parties. The ability to see friends and pick up like things never changed is one of the great things about the Trance Family. Of course, we now have bigger bellies and hangovers became a tangible thing, but the friendship is just the same.
I did meet new friends as well. I met a cool couple from Chicago who just recently moved to San Diego. Our friendship spawned from yelling out “Big Sky” at the close of John O’Callahan set. Inside I was with my usual crew with a few of my Phoria Events teammates.
Not much to complain aside from the usual people who maybe partied too hard and would frequently bump into you, or inconsiderate trains of people (there were more than JUST Asian trains FYI) plowing through you. (Which never sounds fun in general.) Security was not bad. Some even proudly flaunt their new pieces of kandie a Dreamer gave them while getting that good ole pat down. Despite the huge turnout, the place was never too packed where you couldn’t move or get air (sometimes cigarette air, but that’s beside the point).
All-in-all, Dreamstate is what I would imagine happiness to look like if it could take a physical form. This was not my first DSSF, so I knew how everything was gonna go down. However, being there and experiencing the music and seeing your friends IRL instead of a Facebook profile is one thing. Heck, I might even say it was magical if I believed in fairies and unicorns. No lie, 9.9 out of 10, will definitely do it again.