Reviewed: Eric Prydz at Printworks
With the spring season taking place from the end of January right the way through to May, Printworks have continued to up their game from their inception in 2017. Last season featured ground-breaking new production across the venue, including a 12m high by 4m wide, state-of-the-art LED screen, hanging floor-to-ceiling behind the DJ booth – truly incredible if you haven’t seen it. With the announcement of two new venues this year, the schedule for the spring season is bursting at the seams. Talent from all corners of the globe, music from all walks of life, and a collection of events that just continue to go from strength to strength.
Ever since attending the venue for the first time a few years back, there has been one name that I have been dying to see appear on the listings. This artist has one of the most enduring names in electronic music and has been a pioneering force for almost 20 years, time and time again pushing the scene to its technical and musical limits. Of course – I am referring to Eric Prydz.
Prydz’s shows are renowned for their one-of-a-kind spectacle, with fans flocking from far and wide to witness his phenomenal performances. Towards the end of last year, I was finally given some closure when the news was announced – after three years, Eric Prydz was finally coming to Printworks! February 28th was set to be debut day for Prydz, and the fact that this would be his only London show of 2020, made the occasion just that little bit more special.
In terms of support acts, Ukrainian duo ARTBAT were warming up for the Swedish titan. The pair have recently taken the world’s dancefloors by storm, with huge support from some of the biggest names within the scene.
The 28th Feb arrived and as we landed at Printworks, you could tell that the event had sold out. It was the busiest I had seen the venue for some time, with queues stretching out the door and round through the shipping containers. Despite this, the queues moved relatively quickly, and we were inside the venue within about 25 minutes. After grabbing some drinks, we headed out into the Press Halls and settled into the evening.
As the clock struck 9pm, ARTBAT kicked things off with a considerably heavier set than usual. Whispers in the lead up to the event had indicated that the duo were armed with some serious new productions, which were set to be released over the coming year. These whispers totally rang true. Artbat’s set was stuffed full of IDs, amongst classics such as ‘Return to Oz’, ‘Element’, and ‘Keep Control’, to name but a few. I would say that ARTBAT warming up for Eric, is one of the most sensible and synchronised combinations currently on the circuit – their styles flow seamlessly into one another’s productions. With ARTBAT’s set creating countless sighs and shouts of excitement from the riled-up crowd, the clock hit 11pm and Prydz stepped out into the booth to join the duo. It was time for a three-hour set from Eric Prydz.
As the lights came down, the room was filled with darkness, leaving that iconic white spotlight to light up Prydz in the booth. Kicking things off with a production from his alias Pryda, ‘Armed’ could be heard slowly building up through that almighty sound system, shaking every single raver to the core. Prydz’s visuals interconnected perfectly with the audio, and the next three hours took every single attendee on a truly unique journey.
Many of Prydz shows are centred around huge 3D projections that fly out over the crowd, creating a large optical element to his performance. As his event at Printworks didn’t fall under the branding of his recent HOLO shows, his performance was a lot more centred around the music. Don’t get me wrong, Printwork’s lighting certainly put its own spin on the performance, but it was nice to also truly appreciate some of the productions being thrown out.
The next three hours passed way too quickly. Prydz was constantly switching between some of his originals, and some considerably harder content from his two alias, Pryda and Cirez D. The crowd were also treated to several IDs that night, which popped off at several points throughout the three hours. I would say that it was also evident that Prydz was enjoying himself. He could be seen jumping about the booth on regular occasions, with a big smile on his face, and the crowd absolutely loving it. There’s something particularly special about when a DJ/producer interacts with their crowd. Usually, this is hard for Prydz, with him regularly being tucked away behind a screen of visuals. I am presuming that he relished an occasion to be that close to the crowd, in a venue as impressive as Printworks. It certainly added something to the night.
As well as the ID’s, Printworks were gifted with tracks such as ‘Javlar’, ‘Full Stop’, ‘Bus 605’, ‘Stay With Me’, ‘Emos’, ‘Every Day’, and of course ‘Opus’. The final track of the evening was a ‘Midnight City’ remix which left everyone dancing out of the Press Halls.
After waiting so long for a Prydz appearance at Printworks, I can’t help but find myself looking forward to the next occasion. Flawless production and event organisation as usual. Thank you to the team at Printworks, thank you to Artbat, and a big thank you to Eric Prydz. Until next time.