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GTA and the Twurkaholics Crew Bend Genres and Blow Minds at Soundgarden Hall

Philadelphia witnessed the return of the monthly “Twurkaholics” party at Soundgarden Hall on Friday May 17th. Given the turnout of 1600 people,  Philly is already wishing the next show was upon us. Twurkaholics, presented by Actual Records, showcased a wide range of talent with six local DJs, as well as the headliners of the night, GTA.

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We were excited as soon as we heard that GTA was coming to Philly.  The Miami based duo have proven that genres are meant to be crossed, producing numerous tracks that combine trap music, moombahton, bass, house, and beyond.  Their music has been released on labels such as Diplo’s “Mad Decent”, Laidback Luke’s “Mixmash”, and A-Traks “Fool’s Gold Records”.  In Philadelphia, where the music scene is ripe with local talent, the six opening acts reminded us just how spoiled we see such talented DJs as often as we do.

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When we arrived at Soundgarden, there was a line around the corner of the venue, and inside, the place was packed.  Love City DJs had just taken the stage and was playing to at least 1000 people in the audience.

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As always, LCD put down an incredible set that was worthy of headliner status and was filled with energy.  It’s not every night where the venue will be packed to the gills for the opening acts of the night, but then again, not every city has the incredible local talent that Philly has, and not every party draws out the fans like Twurkaholics.

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Up next for the night was another local DJ, Ethan Dubb, along with arguably the best hype man in the Philly area, Buddy Leezle.  By the time Ethan Dubb and Buddy Leezle hit the stage, the crowd had just about reached its peak at around 1,600 sweaty, neon clad people.

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In typical Twurkaholics fashion, inflatable objects such as a crocodile were thrown out to the crowd and a grumpy cat came out onto the stage surrounded by the dancers at Soundgarden.

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It wouldn’t be a true Twurkaholics show without an appearance from the Party Owl.

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But even more importantly, there was a visit from the Kool Aid man, who came running through a paper banner strung between the two pillars on the stage…Oh yeahhh!

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 Although Ethan Dub and Buddy Lezzle had the crowd going nuts, it was clear everyone still had plenty of energy left, and before we knew it, GTA was set to hit the decks…

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GTA came out and proved just how unconfined their sound is, playing a set that had a combination of just about every genre we could imagine.  With the crowd on a seemingly Kool Aid fueled sugar high, GTA gave the audience song after song that had everyone going bananas.

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Before we knew it, it was time for Independent Philly and the rest of the crazed crowd to head home. It was another fun filled evening at what has clearly become one of the biggest parties in Philadelphia. If you want to attend the next Twurkaholics event, we highly suggest picking up advanced tickets as these shows often leave no walk-up tickets for those who wait til the last minute.

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Be sure to “like” Independent Philly on Facebookfollow us on Twitter, and enter our latest contests!

[Photo Credit: Steve Garfinkel Photography]

You can view an expanded photo gallery of Twurkaholics below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

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Armin Van Buuren Feels The Philly Love at Festival Pier

It’s been well over a decade since I bought my first Armin Van Buuren album. Standing in a record store in London, England I found a double disc called “Armin Van Buuren 001: A State of Trance”. Of course back then the CD was filed under “Techno” as that was the blanket term of electronic music that has since been replaced by “EDM”.

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Listening to it on my flight back to Philadelphia (on my disc man), I knew this guy was something special. Over the years I’ve had several chances to see Armin Van Buuren perform in person, both domestically and abroad, however, he had never played a gig in Philly.

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Fast forward to 2013. Armin Van Buuren is announced to play at the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing (presented by Live Nation, Soundgarden Hall, and House of Hearts). The venue sells out its’ 7000 person capacity and the show builds a buzz unlike anything to hit the City in a long time.

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The weather was perfect for an outdoor show on May 10th when the gates opened at 6pm. The venue was mostly empty at 7pm when the music began with an opening set by Antillas, but there was a large crowd of people outside of the Festival Pier and in the surrounding parking lots.

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As if the front gates were flood gates, the opened up just before 8pm and the crowd size increased dramatically in a very short period of time. When Armin Van Buuren hit the stage just after 8pm, fans were primed and ready to go.

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The crowd for the show was diverse to say the least. From young teenagers, to fans dressed in raver garb, to women in nightlife dresses and high-heels in the VIP, AVB had brought the trance fans out from far and wide.

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Playing up to the crowd, Armin waved, pointed, and smiled at fans throughout the show. He struck many poses, his headphones held high above his head, and his arms outstretched, somewhat Jesus-like. Fitting, seeing that many of his fans consider him a trance God.

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Cryo blasts, confetti canons, waves of lasers, and large digital video screens surrounded him from the front to the back of the stage, framing AVB dead-center. At one point he held up a custom Phillies jersey with “Van Buuren 138” on the back of it to the delight of the Philly faithful.

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Not wanting to be outdone by the stellar light show on stage, Mother Nature showed up just before 1030pm with a display of her own. Bolts of lightning filled the sky over Philadelphia as droplets of rain began to fall. This forced the show to end 30 minutes before it’s intended ending time of 11pm. When Armin announced to the crowd that the show had to end, and he could only play one more song, you could feel the disappointment hanging in the air.

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It then began to down pour as fans exited the Festival Pier, many of them heading across the street to Soundgarden Hall.

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AVB wasn’t finished though, he had something left for fans in Philadelphia. Inside Soundgarden Hall, the official after party for the event was already under way. With Rank1 on the decks, Armin stepped in to surprise the sold-out crowd playing a B2B with the trance duo. (We will have full coverage of the after party including our interview with Tritonal who headlined the event coming soon).

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After the reception he received from fans in Philadelphia, at which the humble #1 DJ in the world seemed, at times, in awe of,we have little doubt that Armin Van Buuren will return to our city to play again. However, last night, his first time in Philly, was special. You never forget your first.

Be sure to “like” Independent Philly on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, enter out latest contests, share us with your friends, and love us in person!

[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails for enlarged slideshow):

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Winter Goes Out With A Bang: Total White Out Conditions at Soundgarden Hall

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On Friday, March 22nd, House of Hearts proved to Philly once again that they know how to throw a party.

Dubbed, “Lights Out White Out”, the show was a play on HoH’s long-standing “Lights Out” themed parties, and attendees were heavily encouraged to wear white.

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  While some did not get the memo, or perhaps just wanted to stand out, the vast majority of the concertgoers were rocking all white, which added nicely to the environment of the show.

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DJ Aramis and Elvis Suarez opened the night, as well as House of Hearts resident DJ Johnny V.  Headlining the show were trance artists Matt Lange and Moar Levi, who is signed to the Anjunabeats record label.

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The atmosphere that the all white attire provided went well with the trance music being played by the DJs, and from the moment we arrived until the moment the lights came on and the night ended, everyone could be seen dancing and enjoying themselves.

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If you were there, you don’t need us to tell you how good of a night it was – you just want to relive it, so catch all of the photos below!

Be sure to “like” Independent Philly on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and enter our latest contests!

[Photos by Steven Garfinkel]

You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

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Make sure you catch the next House of Hearts Lights Out show on April 20th at Soundgarden Hall – http://on.fb.me/Z6PIKB

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Tiësto Thrills Thousands at Temple’s Liacouras Center

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Arguably the world’s most popular DJ, Tiesto’s list of accomplishments is lengthy to say the least. The Grammy nominated Dutch DJ, has the #1 global music podcast on iTunes, boasts over 12 million Facebook followers, and has played everywhere from the Olympic opening ceremonies to the largest clubs and festivals around the world.

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On Saturday, February 23rd, Tiesto’s College Invasion rolled into Temple University’s Liacouras Center to thrill a sold out crowd with support from Tommy Trash, and Quintino.

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Johnny V, was selected as the local opening DJ. With a strong following in the area, Johnny V has opened for other international superstars like Steve Angello, Cassette, W&W, Paul Van Dyk, and a slew of others. His set was very appropriate for the night and included a strong mix of tech and electro-house while leaving the major anthems for the tour DJs.

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Quintino was up next and kicked the energy level up another notch. His set wasn’t as spectacular as his headlining gig in Philly a few months ago, but that’s to be expected when setting the stage for the likes of Tiesto. Fans continued to pour into the Liacouras Center during Quintino’s set, packing the floor and the lower bowl of seats.

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Tommy Trash took over from Quintino and things really got exciting. Tommy Trash brings it every time we’ve had the pleasure of seeing him and this night was no different. Dropping bangers as he head-banged, Tommy Trash took the crowd to the edge of insanity, where fans teetered on the edge until 10pm when Tiesto hit the stage and pushed everyone over.

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The crowd had already been fed a steady diet of sweet tunes for hours but Tiesto had them eating out of the palm of his hand like they were starving. His stage set up included cryo-blasts, pyrotechnics, confetti canons, and some of the most redonkulous lasers we have ever seen!

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The Liacouras Center went absolutely bonkers. Tiesto mixed in a slew of his hits, both old and new. Fans went especially nuts when he dropped his 2005 hit “Adagio for Strings”.

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At the end of the show, Tiesto headed across town to Soundgarden Hall where he played an after-party set for the 21 and over crowd.

Be sure to “like” Independent Philly on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and enter our latest contests!

You can view additional event photos below (click thumbnails for full-sized images):

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Pendulum, Bro Safari, and Mord Fustang: EDM Feast at Soundgarden Hall

Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday was Saturday, the 24th of November.

EDM fans looking for a sweet deal headed to Soundgarden Hall for a triple helping of headliners. This feast of top notch talented didn’t feature any leftovers, just five fresh-to-death sets cooked up especially for the Saturday night crowd.

The night kicked off with some audible appetizers served up by locals BHB (Actual Records) and LoveCityDJs (House of Hearts) who satisfied the early comers while leaving everyone hungry for more. If Soundgarden Hall was a turkey then the fans were the stuffing, quickly packing the place from wall to wall once the doors opened at 830pm.

After 2 hours, Mord Fustang took over on the decks. Having headlined a recent show in Philly just a few weeks ago, Mord was back to provide the first course of the evening, a sweet casserole of electro and dubstep. Fans ate it up but seemed to become only more ravenous as they raged from the front of the stage to the back of the venue.

Things would only get more wild from here, Bro Safari style. As you would see on an actual safari, there was no shortage of different species, or genres, of EDM on display. From Moombahton to House, Dubstep to Glitch, Bro Safari mixed it all together like a jello mold filled with fruit and nuts, and then gelled it perfectly. Even the presentation, garnished with dancers and stage performers, was excellent. It was delicious.

Finally it was time for dessert, and what better treat to sweeten up an already savory evening than a headlining set by Drum & Bass champions, Pendulum. Just when you thought the pumpkin pie couldn’t get any better, out came an unexpected scoop of ice cream in the form of vocalist Rob Swire. The place went absolutely bonkers.

This is one event that was all gravy!

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Special thanks to DS Photography for the photos of Pendulum (we had some end of the evening technical difficulties)! Be sure to check out the rest of his photo gallery from this event and “like” him on Facebook!

You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

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