The main purpose of our Johannesburg mission last weekend, besides visiting friends and exploring the city, was to see Armin van Buuren’s Intense concert at the Coca-Cola Dome.
Mike, Alex and I love a good ‘squeaking takkies’ session to quality tunes; so I did a little shoulder jig when they told me about the concert scheduled in SA. I had just waved farewell to my former yachting life so was excited to book a ticket and plan a little Jozi trip a few months later.
Saturday night was go. Yeow! As seasoned older jollers (party goers), we lined our stomachs with delish burgers at The Wolfpack in Parkhurst, gulped down a few Red Bull and Vodkas to fuel our six hours of Armin bliss on the dance floor, and hopped into an Uber taxi headed for the Coca-Cola Dome.
Armin started his set at 8pm and teased us for an hour as he played behind a white screen. At 9pm and on the hour, every hour thereafter, he kicked it up a notch and the concert got intense. Live vocalists, dancers, and a couple jumping on trampolines wowed the crowd as did the phenomenal set design. The mind-blowing animation and graphics transported us on the intense journey with Armin.
As we danced into each hour, we waited for that ‘Drop the Base’ moment which would trigger our euphoric jumping dance move. Watch the YouTube video below to get an idea of what I mean. Hilarious! Sometimes, you have to laugh at yourself.
Like the odd characters in the above video, the Coca-Cola Dome was filled with all sorts of people. Needless to say, it was a spectacular people-watching environment… even better than an airport. Perhaps this was because many attendees were tripping on goodness-knows-what drugs and having the most intense journey.
The three of us, who were sticking to Vodka mixes, found ourselves bent over laughing so much. There was one guy who was loving life uncontrollably. He kept laughing as he walked closer towards the stage and kept saying, “What?! What?!”. He held his head in his hands, flashed the biggest smile, as he watched Armin drop the base.
Towards the fifth hour around 1am, Armin was waving a South African flag and even changed into a Springbok rugby jersey to celebrate our victory against Wales earlier that evening. What a legend!
Then, sadly, the main stage shut down. Lights out, performers exited the stage and the crowd started chanting Armin’s name in hope that he would return for an encore.
In true world-class style, Armin reappeared on a smaller stage and informed everyone that he was going to spend the last hour playing an old-school vinyl set using his earlier State of Trance hits. Yes, you guessed it, heads exploded everywhere.
As we fell asleep with our aching bodies in the taxi ride home, I thought: Wow, what a fun night!