Time and time again I repeat myself in saying that there HAS to be something in that Dutch water that allows their native DJ’s and producers to become so talented yet versatile, and the JACKED team, consisting of Afrojack, Quintino, R3hab and many more, is the definition of this fact. When it came to reviewing their most recent NYC tour stop, I found myself lacking the proper words to describe the experience without repeating the words and phrases “insane”, “epic” and “life-changing” over and over.
With the stage set for three of the biggest names in EDM to tear down Pacha NYC from 11-5 back-to-back, I called out of work as soon as I saw the flyer. With the entire JACKED tour exploring the farthest reaches and most popular areas of the US, it was only natural to have a second stop in NYC, and especially at one of our all time favorite venues: Pacha.
First off to kick of this momentous night, we were able to interview DJ, producer, and label owner: Qutinino. Having been a big fan of his work since the beginning (see ‘Heaven’ & ‘You Can’t Deny‘), and for us to have the time to talk to him was kind of amazing. So getting to the set a bit early, we briefly interacted with the Pacha staff as security struggled to maintain an organized environment outside, as even at 10:15 partygoers were lined up to catch these three titans of industry. After a quick 15 minute interview with Quintino and a couple pictures, we hit the mezzanine table where Q had just started his set. Destroying the club with his massive bootlegs, remixes and some die hard originals, Quintino yet again solidified himself as one of the best “newcomers” in EDM , although he’s been around a lot longer than you think.
With MC Ambush on the mic, the crowd was reacting to the music in a way unparalleled to most other club experiences. When the crowd heard Ne-Yo‘s rhythmic vocals, it was symbolic that Quintino’s fan-favorite Calvin Harris bootleg was the culprit, and when the smoke machine let off coupled with the blaring air horn, the drop was an instant crowd pleaser as everyone rocked along with the Dutch vibes. Even for an opening set, the crowd was packed wall to wall to witness Quintino’s last stop on the US leg of the tour – and trust me when I say he didn’t disappoint.
Pulling out all the stops and playing a great deal of unidentified new material, Quintinos set was a true testament to what quality house music stands for: originality, creativity, and the ability to cause the greatest fan reaction. With a very original stle of mixing that’s often seen by many DJ’s, both contemporary and up & coming, it’s always remarkable to watch Quintino in the booth as he guages the crowd’s true reaction and coincides his song selection accordingly. In addition to this ability, it restores my faith in the integrity of EDM to hear a DJ who throws caution to the wind and focuses on playing a great high energy set composed of various live edits and unknown tracks rather than “chart toppers” or Beatport top 10’s.
After Quitnino’s set, we caught him exiting the booth and he came over to our table for a couple drinks as we toasted both his incredible set and and again to an even crazier night. Before he left, hee even took a couple phtotos with out “PB&J Girls” who were sporting our classic tanks especially tailored for Quintino’s night at Pacha (you can check out the shirts here)– great fan support right? But I’m happy to report that was just the beginning of our night with the Jacked family.
As Quintino’s set neared a close, the crowd began chanting for the head of Wall Recordings, the 6”10 flying Dutchman: Afrojack himself. Coming out to a momentous crowd reception, he immediately went to work playing chart toppers, a slew of unreleased material and some live edits that shocked the entire crowd. Although we’re used to hearing a more commercial, mainstream set from Afrojack, this time he brought out some familiar classics and high energy tunes that were clearly made strictly for the club. Even his resurgence of his collaboration with Roxy Cottontail aka ‘Let’s Make Nasty’ brought a sense of nostalgia to the crowd as we all reminisced the first time we heard Afro. With his playful nature intact, he even put on a tiger head for a small duration of the set and also appreciated a second fan gift in the form of a bra — Afrojack fans, right? If you weren’t there, you missed a treat as Afrojack himself both announced and played a good amount of new material that he says is taken from his forthcoming album.
With every new track played causing the crowd continually go nuts, we all looked at each other and thought ‘how can he possibly top this?’ but low and behold in between his swigs of vodka and direct crowd interactions, Afrojack brought out the Australian duo we all know and love aka NERVO to perform their vocals on the Tomorrowland anthem and collaboriation with Steve Aoki and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike ’The Way We See the World’. As partygoers began to process exactly what was happening and iPhones instantly went to camera mode – the energy shot through the roof. And as the chants screamed “It’s the way we see the world, yes it is!” the beautiful ladies of NERVO hyped up both sides of the room to its max potential.
And as his set neared a close, Afrojack, with the great help of MC Zawdi, effectively JACKED every single attendee. During the close of his set, the PB&J crew got the chance to catch up with R3hab who had just arrived and was eager to tear it down. After taking a couple pictures with us and our crew – he was ready to go on and put an ending to a night that refused to let up.
We were able to briefly catch R3hab’s epic set as he went on at 3 AM wth full force. And with the true partygoers and fans still there chanting for the chainsaw madness, R3hab gave the crowd exactly what they wanted. Taking over mic duties MC Ambush stepped in the booth to get everyone ‘moving’ and brought the vibe to the greatest afterhours level it could possibly reach. And of course since it was a family affair, Quintino entered the booth and gave the crowd a nice champagne spray as R3hab simultaenously drops his latest bootleg of Calvin Harris and Example’s ‘We’ll Be Coming Back’.
Complete with champagne spraying, confetti, and so much vodka. A night with the #JACKED team is a recipe for both a hangover, a missed day at work and one of the greatest club experiences of your life. As I’ve seen a lot of Pacha shows in my day, nothing can compare to the energy, atmosphere and passion that was exhibited last Thursday in that booth, dancefloor and mezzanine.
brought to you by PB&J
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