Calvin Harris & Tiesto with Support from Pete Tong
Wednesday 18th December 2013 – Odyssey Arena, Belfast
It may have been winter outside but inside the Odyssey felt almost tropical on the first night of the ‘Greater Than’ tour headed by Calvin Harris & Tiesto. Due to the bad weather I unfortunately missed Danny Avila & GTA’s sets but arrived in time for Pete Tong. And what can I say but OMG; I may be known as the resident rock chick but I can die happy I have finally seen the legend Pete Tong. The god of dance music used his eclectic mix of tunes for building the growing crowd into a frenzy as the arena filled. There really is something amazing about the feeling of bass pumping through your body, because even though I was seated it’s hard to sit still with the vibrations pumping through you. It must be pretty intense down in the crowd especially at the barrier where they are squashed and moving together almost hypnotised by the beat. I will say though it wouldn’t be a good night for anyone suffering from light sensitive epilepsy! I didn’t think anyone could beat how I felt after seeing one of my heroes. Pete Tong was the soundtrack of many a night out in my youth, a serious “I am not worthy” moment, feeling a lot younger than my forty years; Tong you Legend!!!
Next on the bill was Calvin Harris, and he was the act the young ones had come to see. Many of them not knowing who Pete Tong or Tiesto were, can you imagine?? With the arrival of Calvin Harris on stage and the arena filled, the venue erupted into life. Harris has the added benefit of having a full catalogue of collaborations as well as his own tunes and began with ‘Say My Name.’ The crowd seemed to bounce in unison with ticker tape explosions, making it quite the sight to bestow as the whole of the odyssey seemed to become one pulsing body. Despite the lack of room between the rows of chairs but it didn’t stop the audience dancing away. The hits came fast and furious with Harris throwing in a mix of old and new including the dance classic ‘You’ve Got The Love’ through to his latest collaboration ‘Under Control’ with Hurt’s singer Theo Hutchcraft.
It’s a completely different atmosphere to any other show I have been to, more like a night out than a concert, really a taste of Ibiza in N’orn Ireland. The crowd on were on a high after Calvin Harris and as the stage was changed over I chatted to the people around me and the consensus was that hopefully he will play some oldies. As Tiesto began his set, behind him on the large screens appeared images of Belfast which the crowd showed their appreciation for. It was obvious the crowd wasn’t as familiar with Tiesto’s sound as they had been with Calvin Harris earlier but that didn’t stop them again from once becoming a pulsating mass. As one song blends into another Tiesto builds the beat to a crescendo that drives the crowd into a frenzy. From afar the crowd seem to move together as if in a trance and while not as popular as Harris, he keeps the crowd on their feet in the seated section. Mission accomplished.
And while dance music isn’t for everyone I defy anyone that feels that bass pump through them not to get up and dance. For the majority Calvin Harris was the hit of the night but for me it was Pete Tong, and I drove home accompanied by the Pete Tong Collection one very happy lady.