There was a huge amount of anticipation as world-renowned dance music brand Don’t Let Daddy Know returned to the UK, taking over the USN Bolton Arena.
When it was announced that the event, which has toured cities all around the world from Bangkok to Antwerp, was stopping off in Bolton it seemed too good to be true. Known for bringing some of the biggest house music artists to stadiums all across the world, the 10,000 capacity venue in Greater Manchester provided another spectacular setting.
Walking into the multi-purpose space the epic scale was instantly recognizable, with thousands already gathered as Third Party brought an equally grand dose of their big-room sound. Looking around there was a sea of flags, from China to Slovakia, which gave a fantastic reflection of the diverse crowd. Despite everyone normally being so spread out it was hard to escape the overwhelming sense of unity with beaming smiles etched on faces all around.
Determined to keep the sense of pure jubilation alive, Laidback Luke provided high-energy entertainment blending a vast array of genres to great effect. Everything from bassline to RnB was on the agenda which promptly sparked the crowd to sing along in perfect sync.
When DLDK announced Knife Party could no longer perform there was a huge amount of disappointment but Laidback Luke washed away the sorrow by playing “Internet Friends”, which sent the room into pandemonium. Despite the news emerging just a few days before that Knife Party were unable to make it, DLDK deserved a tremendous amount of credit for drafting in Don Diablo as a replacement at such short notice. The Hexagon records label boss has long been known for his progressive sound but has since conjured up a variety of exuberant records, nudging towards more of a future bass feel.
Throughout the vast arena it was instantly clear how many Don Diablo fans were present, as flags emblazoned with hexagons flew high whilst the crowd were hooked by his impressive remix catalogue. After admitting he passed up a dinner date with his mum, there was a wave of laughter. The Dutch artist truly captivated the crowd when he stood up and expressed his gratitude for the UK’s constantly vibrant reception towards him.
Whilst the next act was waiting to start their set the intensely dramatic graphics by DLDK continued to do a sterling job of fuelling the suspense.
(Steve Angello wowed the crowd with a hypnotic combination of anthemic tunes)
Coming up was one name which never really needed a dramatic build-up in truth. When Steve Angello takes to the stage his supreme aura instantly commands undivided attention from a crowd. That unilateral respect was born out of his time as one third of the Swedish House Mafia, but since starting up a solo project he has become even more valued for his ability to craft such heart-warming sounds.
As the whole room waited, his first record provided the most dramatic introduction, as the vocals had an almost hypnotic effect on the audience.
The way in which the Athens-born artist delivered the optimum blend of big-room anthems and more relaxed house records was truly stunning and explained why thousands were salivating at his turntable talents.
There is often a moment during an event where you can feel an intense tide of joy that transcends the entire room. As Angello finished with one of Swedish House Mafia’s greatest hits, “Don’t You Worry Child”, the sight of everyone singing along couldn’t provide a better reason for your hairs to stand up on end.
As the night continued Blasterjaxx turned the temperature up, bringing a sound which is steeped in the extremely energetic and fast-paced hard style.
Whilst Angello’s set stirred up a huge tide of emotion, reigniting everyone’s treasured memories of Swedish House Mafia, Blasterjaxx were all about provoking as much carnage as possible.
Their ethos of producing some of the most earth-shattering house music certainly brought about a huge change in the tempo of the evening, with the crowd embracing the immense power of their set.
As the night drew to a close R3hab and DLDK founder Sem Vox ensured there was a heavy-hitting climax to the evening’s entertainment. The latter, who has become renowned for his fast mixing style, kept everyone in a heightened state of elation right until the end.
With the last-minute disappointment of Knife Party unable to play and an unfamiliar venue there was a certain amount of scepticism about whether the event would live up to previous shows. Those fears were quickly eased, however, as the setting turned out to be a surprisingly impressive space and the lineup assembled did an outstanding job of delivering an exhilarating celebration of house music.
Photos courtesy of Don't Let Daddy Know