The very first Armin Only show began in 2005, nearly 12 years ago from today, in Ahoy Rotterdam, Netherlands. ‘The Next Level’ was a sold out event and one that huge Armin fans will never forget; as the saying goes, it was “one for the books”.
Armin Van Buuren’s vision has since bloomed into a so-called movement in the electronic dance music scene. Back in 2005, the concept of long sets was a main part of the EDM scene. Unfortunately for fans today, live EDM events now involve shorter sets and less of a musical journey with only one DJ on deck. Many have been confused about the concept, but the idea is very simple. This is Armin Only, hence you should expect Armin Van Buuren to be the only DJ you’ll see for 6 whole hours.
Due to the overwhelming success of the 2005 Armin Only show, a second edition came to life in 2006 in the same city of Ahoy Rotterdam, Netherlands. Lo and behold, Armin drew a crowd of over 12,000 Armin fans for an unforgettable night that lasted 9 hours!
In 2008, Armin released Imagine; an album that made a statement and gave Armin a chance to show the world that music is what unites us all no matter where we come from or who we are. Expanding from the previous Armin Only show, this time round Armin planned a world tour at 6 locations; Netherlands, Australia, Romania, Belgium, Poland and USA. He secured 9+ hours for this version of the Armin Only – Imagine tour while signifying the importance of all five senses (sound, touch, sight, taste and smell) to create what he believed was an escape back into our imagination.
This stage is when Armin’s trance style flourished into the kind of genre we all know as old school classic trance. It’s less experimental, but that’s how he progressed with his next few albums.
In 2010, Armin Van Buuren released his next album, Mirage. This album was derived from the feeling of euphoria, a special connection that is created from both Armin and his fans during his sets. Armin Only – Mirage was a 9-hour show that honored the King of Trance. This show however did include other renowned artistes such as Susana, Nadia Ali, Christian Burns, VanVelzen and even the Dutch Metropole Orchestra. This was the first Armin Only show that showcased the transition into the new more developed idea of the Armin Only that we are familiar with today. This tour began in The Netherlands and ended in Slovakia with a total of 11 shows worldwide.
After a short 3-year break, Armin Only came back bigger with the release of his Intensealbum in 2013. In Armin’s own words, Intense was all about “moments of extreme joy or sadness”. Parts of his life have also been incorporated into this album, such as the birth of his daughter, Fenna. Armin announced this tour with help from his collaborators, famous theatre director Jos Thie, creative mind Sander Reneman and organizer, ALDA Events; something which made this tour different from the rest as they took charge of concept development – something the other Armin Only shows did not have. The Intense world tour saw an increase in locations; from 11 cities for Mirage to 28 cities around the world for Intense.
Now, Armin Van Buuren is bringing us something better, bigger and never done before - Embrace! This is the show to watch as Armin is bringing along a whole entourage of artistes, performers, and dancers to help him create a variety of musical styles infused into trance including some jazz, hip hop, pop, rock and more!
Tagging along are world renowned artistes Eric Vloeimans, Mr Probz, Kensigton, Cimo Frankel, Angel Taylor, Betsie Larkin and Bullysongs. This time round, the tour is all about EMBRACING other genres with a never before seen immersive performance that is incomparable to any typical electronic dance music event. Not forgetting, this tour will also feature a very special vinyl set as well.
If you miss this one, best believe the FOMO will come hard on 1 April 2017.