CARSON, California — On Saturday night, the Home Depot Center in Carson was home to 26,000 revelers who attended the final stop of Tiësto’s Club Life College Invasion Tour. To say that the night was oozing with high energy, a vibe of genuine happiness, a sense of community from one dancer to another, would be an understatement. It was all of that and much more.
With speakers placed around the entire stadium, the boom of the beats infiltrated your body to the core on this historic night. Standing in the middle of the general-admission floor, revelers were surrounded by dance battles happening to the left of them and thousands of pumping fists and jumping bodies to the right. Looking up, you were greeted by a massive light show that lured your eyes to the moon and clear skies above.
“I’m really excited,” Tiësto told us backstage. “I’ve been coming to L.A. for a long time. Even three to five years ago, [I would] never have expected to be able to pull off such a big show here.”
When planning his College Invasion Tour, which started off last month in Madison, Wisconsin, Tiësto knew that he wanted to play Los Angeles, but none of the venues that he was looking at were available. Then in August, word came that the Home Depot Center was available and all energy was focused on making this night the largest single DJ event in U.S. history. In the middle of his set, Tiësto spoke to the crowd. “Today is a very special day. You and me are a part of history now. Today is the day you realize dance music is bigger than anything else in the world, and I thank you for that.”
The night started out with a heart-pounding set by 19-year-old DJ/producer Porter Robinson, who has been creating beats since he was 12 and has been warming up the crowd for Tiësto since the start of the tour. “This is sort of the iconic Tiësto tour show. This is the big one, and so of course, we are all really excited going into it,” Porter told us. “But at the same time, we are sad to see [this tour] come to an end.”
After Porter finished his set, the crowd welcomed the energetic and personable Dada Life. Revelers who donned the duo’s trademark banana costumes rushed the stage to get as close as they could to the two gents from Sweden. Their show made you feel you were attending the house party of close friends. “Being here is like forgetting about tomorrow and just like having fun,” Dada Life’s Stefan said.
After the banana peels and pillowcases were cleaned up from the stage, the crowd welcomed the stylish Diplo to the scene. As the sun set and the moon started to rise, Diplo brought the ever-growing crowd to its feet with his unique musical stylings and pairings. With the massively successful joint track that Tiësto and Diplo did called “C’mon,” the crowd crammed to the stage as Diplo dropped in a new beat or brought in a new track. With collaborations under his belt with Beyoncé, Usher, Lil Wayne and No Doubt (for their new album), it will be interesting to see Diplo’s influence on music in the near future.
Then the man of the hour took the stage, and the 26,000-deep crowd welcomed him to the start of his historic night. As Tiësto’s set started, the crowd entered a realm that was not only about the music but about the journey they would all embark on with the elaborate light show — one that many of today’s touring music acts dream they could afford. Flanked on both sides of the stage by three large screens that displayed an array of colorful Tetris-style images to artistic digital videos, Tiësto’s grin was seen by every single person in that stadium. Every now and then, the crowd was greeted with a giant billow of smoke and streamers, fireworks shot off from the stage, to what may have been the most memorable moment of his set: The stage lit up with pyrotechnics and completely surrounded Tiësto from one end to the other.
From dance battles to hook-ups, costumes to glittery face paint, dubstep to progressive house, this historic night welcomed dance music as a growing part of American culture and solidified once again that Tiësto is still at the top of it all.