Afrojack, Diplo & Rusko invade Pier 94 For A Pre-New Years Party To Remember

Posted by on January 7, 2013

Accompanied by Sazon Booya, Leroy Styles & Bobby Burns, Afrojack, Diplo & Rusko came down on Pier 94 in New York City on the eve of New Years Eve with a vengeance, displaying a wide variety of different styles and genres across this outstanding lineup. The venue was also playing host to Afrojack’s Jacked NYE party the following night, which went off with a bang, but no expense was spared or production lost on this night with 3 stars taking the stage. While it may have been the night before the biggest party night of the year and one might expect people to spend the night gearing up for NYE, but that did not stop the thousands of concert goers from seeing Diplo, Afrojack, & Rusko put on a clinic at Pier 94 well into the early morning. Leroy Styles & Sazon Booya got things started as the crowd started to file in at the 8pm, mixing in a steady pace of moombah and electro, keeping the growing swell of people moving and getting them warmed up for the main acts about to grace the decks.

Rusko came on at 11pm, bringing up the energy and using his signature tempo switches to bring the crowd to a fever pitch. Drawing on selections from his latest free EP, as well as tracks like “Thunder” from his album “Numbers”, Rusko had the crowd going with familiar songs from his discography. He drew from his back catalog with tracks like “Everyday”, doing if you have seen him before his tempo switches from the original to the Netsky remix & VIP, and the same with “Something To Love” moving from the Skream remix to the Sigma remix. He brought his patented stage presence with him, willing his dubsteppers to jump and rage with him as he did the same on stage. While I may have been a little too far away to really feel the charisma of Rusko, his stage presence is among the best out there and he always puts on a top notch performance.

Rusko gave way to Diplo a little past 12:30am in what was to be the set of the night. I had seen a bit of Diplo at E Zoo, and maybe it was the anticipation of seeing Skrillex on main stage or being a bit outside of the tent and being able to sell my 3D glasses to some guy for 5 dollars, but I wasn’t totally sold on Diplo the Dj from that point. This set at Pier 94 totally blew my mind and more. Diplo is known for his no holds barred type of sets where he will play anything and everything and it just works. He will mix in everything from Bingo Players to his own material to 2-Chainz. He started out with some safe picks like “In My Mind”, “Rattle” and his own “C’mon” to get the complete attention of the crowd and have them in the palm of his hand for what he was about to do next.

Once the booming lyrics of the boss Rick Ross came through the speakers from the track “John” and the rapid fire trap beats of RL Grime & his remix of “Satisfaction”, you knew showman Diplo was in full swing. Mixing in tracks from A$AP Rocky, 2-Chainz, Driicky Graham, the still relevant “get Low” and the fitting “All Gold Everything” from Trinidad James, Diplo was on his A-game bringing variety and spot on track selection at just the right time. Heavy on trap remixes, notably from Rl Grime, Carnage and Flosstradamus, Diplo found time to mix in a few electro tracks in the form of A-trak & Tommy Trash’s “Tuna Melt”, Henrix, Digital Lab & GTA’s “Hit It” & of course his new single with Major Lazer “Jah No Partial”.

Being the showman that he is, Diplo pulled out all of the stops to engage the crowd — standing on the decks, sporadic and purposeful talking on the mic, and being the unique showman that he is after seeing that his attempt at the sit-down with the 7500 in attendance went worse than expected, he went for it all asking for everyone to take off their shirts, pants, whatever and wave it around it in the air, doing the same himself, garnering an audible scream from the female members of the crowd. A Diplo performance would not be complete some girls expressing themselves, a trend and redefinition of a phrase that I think everyone should take the time to personally thank Diplo for creating. He left the decks at around 2am, giving way to Afrojack leaving me completely speechless at what I had just seen.

Afrojack had the nearly insurmountable task of following up Diplo’s practically flawless set and as a warmup to his 4 hours the following night, he put on quite the show in his final set of 2012. Mixing in brand new 2013 Afrojack with some classic Afrojack, he was on top of his game, switching his hands between the mic, his bottle of Grey Goose, and the controls. Going to both nights at Pier 94 with Afrojack gave me the opportunity to compare sets and though there were some of the same bootlegs and tracks, the set he put together on the 30th was top notch. While his hype man to the side did become very annoying as time progressed and only had one clever line “From Amsterdam to New Amsterdam”, the monstrous Dutchman had total control the entire time.

Afrojack did not shy away from filling up his 1:30 with big tracks like his own with Steve Aoki “No Beef”, “Cannonball“, “Annie’s Theme“, “Can’t Stop Me”, and bootlegs of “Reload” with “Louder Than Words” & the vocals of “Titanium” & “Somebody I Used To Know” with the Tommy Trash remix of “Ladidadi”. He played several selections from his upcoming 2013 album including “Rocker”, the powerful “Air Guitar” and his rather disappointing remix of “Gangnam Style”. Towards the very end of his set, he dropped “Rock The House”, demanding the very last ounce of energy from the beleaguered crowd and causing one more moment of mayhem to be savored for Afrojack’s last set of 2012.

Overall I was not too sure about this night going into it, considering I only found out I was to be covering the event at 4pm that day and it had not been on my mind leading up to the 30th. My mind was on the 31st with the Jacked crew and I had anticipated the crew and artists might do the same and I could not have been more wrong. The production was on the same level as NYE and the artists brought their A-game and then some. As a prelude to NYE celebrations and 2013 this was about as good as it got and possibly better.

Photo Credit: Andrew Rauner

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