ATB Brings the Ecstasy of Trance to Texas
My out-of-town adventures chasing the real rave is becoming a weekly ritual as this journey out of San Antonio served as my 4th weekend away and my 2nd weekend in-a row traveling to Houston. On November 18th, 2023, I would find myself back in Houston, Texas to see André Tanneberger, more famously known to the rave as ATB, DJ live at Stereo Live. ATB is another DJ I admired and respected ever since hearing his timeless hits ‘9PM‘ and ‘Don’t Stop‘ on Party 93.1 FM in South Florida. In my 22 years of being a raver seeing hundreds of DJs perform live, I had not seen a live ATB set until this past Saturday (November 18th) and that night became another night where I would again feel like a true trance fanatic.
Of course before the main event, ATB would be preceded by opening DJs Terry G and a returning Kaezin (last seen opening for Andy Moor & JES) and Surain (last seen opening for Paul van Dyk), warming the crowd with techno and progressive dance sounds as common practice from past trance shows I’ve seen at Stereo Live. A combination of Houston’s local dance scene and ravers from outside America (as I met a fan from Mexico) would quickly fill Stereo Live again almost (if not already) to capacity before André appeared to take the decks. I would also run into more HakubiVerse fans while I was there, which always elates me because despite announcing that I am attending these trance events, I rarely make it known publicly that where I am at the event and to see nightkids find me is a wonderful feeling. This pleases me to know that I am becoming less and less of a casual stranger to Houston and I hope that I can feel at home in Houston (and eventually Dallas) as I am in San Antonio. Everyone seemed to be vibing to the techy sounds from the supporting DJs and I would think ATB would continue the vibe like pervious DJs that headlined Stereo Live, although I was in for a delightful surprise when André finally appeared.
Right out of the gate, ATB began his set with a heart-pounding version of ‘Ecstasy‘ that I have not been able to identify but I lost my absolute mind and jumped to the kicks of that tune. André continued with trance for about the first half-hour with familiar songs and new tunes that I have not heard before; however, I loved that he would tease the crowd occasionally playing the hook for 9PM. ATB would go techno for a little bit and then touch on festival sounds but would again come back to trance and eventually play 9PM in its raw vinyl-recorded form. My heart would further melt with the lovely sounds of ‘Killing Me Inside‘ and setting an epic finale with ‘Still Here‘, reminding everyone in attendance that despite all the elements trying to kill us on a daily basis, that we perservere together with love and peace and that our rave spirit cannot be stopped.
As there is still a bit over a month left of 2023, there are still a few trance and other rave events to check out and support as Houston will also be home to Cascada on December 8th at RISE Rooftop and Galaxy Station Music Festival on December 15th featuring Giuseppe Ottaviani, John O’Callaghan, Sander van Doorn, Orjan Nilsen, John OO Fleming, Super8 & Tab, Sunny Lax, Oliver Smith, Leena Punks, and many more. Before heading back to Houston, Ame and I will be celebrating Euro-pop as Aqua makes a stop at Emo’s Austin on November 24th for their current world tour. The final 4 months of the year seem to be my favorite time for parties and cooler weather and the Autumn of 2023 has provided another reason to love this season with all the pure dance and real rave sounds that are being gifted upon us around this time.