Reviewed: Eric Prydz Presents HOLO at Steel Yard
Back in October 2018, social media platforms exploded with the news that London would see the reappearance of the renowned Steel Yard. The first event to be announced was Eric Prydz’s eagerly anticipated HOLO show. Due to the mammoth popularity of the Swede, all tickets to the 15,000 capacity structure in Finsbury Park were snapped up in just 72 hours! Eric has since become the first artist to sell out all Steelyard tickets in such a small time span.
Eric’s HOLO show was debuted in Glasgow and Belfast in summer 2018, and concluded the tour with a headline closing slot at Creamfields on the Sunday night of the August festival. Once again playing the Steel Yard, Eric aimed to draw the crowd from the likes of Martin Garrix, who closed the Horizon stage, and Tiesto, who closed the Arc stage. Reports say that the Steel Yard was so packed, fans were gathered on the grass outside, trying to gain a slight peak inside the arena to catch the action.
As one of the most exciting innovators on the global dance circuit, there are none who come close to the production value of Prydz’ live shows. Following several years of development work behind the scenes, HOLO uses unique audio visual technology to create and design a tour-able holographic live experience. Since its inception, the 15,000 Steel Yard superstructure has revolutionized the ‘event’ experience for electronic music fans. Designed and created exclusively for Creamfields, it’s the largest of its kind in Europe. Featuring ground breaking technology and production, this unique structure lends itself perfectly to an artist of Prydz’ calibre.
Eric is in charge of three highly respected labels whose releases are in feverish demand, consistently selling huge quantities of vinyl, which is truly incredible in the markets current climate. The labels, Mouseville, Pryda, & Pryda Friends are arguably proving to be the most successful and forward thinking imprints currently existing. Each label was strictly developed to give Eric a platform to release his own productions without outside interference. Simply: his music, on his terms. It was important for Eric to step back after his previous successes, and to release music without schedules and pressure. Ultimately he wanted to control his own image & destiny, something he feel is extremely important to him and his career. The ethos behind the labels is truly underground, scarcely any promotion, no press intrusion and true label/design identity… a formula which has proven massively successful!
As May 26th arrived, a hot and sunny day broke over London, as though it knew that Prydz was coming to town. The line-up for the event featured some extremely talented artists such as Alan Fitzpatrick and Cristoph, who were followed by a back to back set between George Fitzgerald and Tiga. As the pairs set came to a close, there was a silence that fell over the crowd and some toned down background-music began to play through the hugely impressive sound system, that surrounded the arena. As about 30 minutes passed, the Steel Yard filled up at an incredible rate, and it wasn’t long before the entire establishment was bursting at the seams. Only whispers of anticipation could be heard, circulating the space. As the clock hit 8.30pm the lights turned off and darkness fell over the Steel Yard. The background music began to rise, and shouts of excitement erupted across the crowd due to the realisation that this was it! This was the moment. The moment we had all been waiting for. Eric Prydz had arrived.
Kicking off his set with a couple of Pryda IDs that showcase the first holograms of the evening, a gigantic 3D cube and face floated out over the crowd, causing many to reach up and try to touch it. Prydz continued to play countless Pryda IDs, including a particular crowd pleaser from Cirez D, which is his musical alias he uses to produce alongside techno producer Adam Beyer. A sea of mobile phones could be seen floating above the 15,000 strong audience, who were nothing but desperate to try and capture the beauty and elegance that they were witnessing.
As we reached an hour into the set, Prydz played an incredible mashup of his track ‘Genesis’ with the classic ‘Sweet Dreams’ by Eurythmics, mixed in with absolute perfection. As a huge Jupiter hologram flew out over the stage, a completely devoted crowd sang the lyrics to Sweet Dreams with such force and volume, you could tell that this was something truly special that was happening in the capital that day. This was then followed by his astonishing ‘NOPUS’ ID which brought nothing but smiles and happiness to the mass of shouting bodies streaming back through the Steelyard structure– energy levels appeared to be at their peak!
With Prydz knowing perfectly how to keep a crowd engaged, it was at this point that his Pryda Terminal 5 ID track could be heard building up through the sound system. The space could feel those progressive chords sending vibrations tremoring through the crowd’s bodies, causing the anticipation to build yet again at what was about to come. As the build reached its pinnacle, strobes shattered out across the audience, broken only by a savage laser show which completely tore the room apart.
As the crowd continued to euphorically jump in every direction at what they were currently witnessing, Prydz moved into one of his new releases: his remix of Camelphat & Christoph’s ‘Breathe’. I have personally come to prefer this remix slightly more than the original, so to say that I was keen to see this particular track dropped live at one of Prydz’s HOLO events, would be a substantial understatement. I was not to be disappointed in the slightest. As the track began to build, a hologram of stars flowed out over the crowd making it seem as though we were flying through space. Four red lasers floated majestically across space, the background of the venue started to glow red, and two spot lights lit up the DJ booth showing Prydz, with his hand held high above his head, looking out across the sea of people before him. As the drop to ‘Breathe’ approached, the spot lights faded and we were back into darkness again. At the drop, the place exploded with strobes, and a brutal red laser show, which honestly took the roof off the place!
As we moved further into the set, Prydz started upon a slightly more nostalgic and dialled back vibe. Part of the reason for this is in dedication and memory of his greatest fan: James Lillo. James tragically passed away 3 years ago after a long battle with cancer. After the passing, Prydz decided to pay his respects using his favourite tool, music, and went on to produce a song titled ‘Lillo’. With a picture of James being displayed on the screen above Prydz, it was truly a moving and emotional point in the evening.
As we reached the close of Prydz’s inconceivable journey, the familiar hologram of the astronaut stretched out over the crowd, and the melody of ‘Pjanoo’ could be heard gradually building in the background. As festival-goers started to jump around in excitement at the classic Prydz track, suddenly both the hologram and the sound of Pjanoo started to fade – one final twist from Prydz!
Instead, and again perfectly blended in, we could hear the sound of “Everyday’ start to build, perfectly complimenting those piano chords from ‘Pjanoo’. The reaction from the crowd was unforgettable. Every single raver, jumping up and down, and screaming the lyrics from ‘Everyday’ as though their lives depended on it. What a sight!
This brought a close to a truly unforgettable day. Prydz took the crowd on a journey that very few artists could replicate. I would say that there are a handful of artists who are even in the same league of Prydz’s production and talent. He truly sets the benchmark for how and where the music industry should be going, and it does nothing but excite me on how things will look in years to come. He is a true pioneer and innovator in the live scene, and I have nothing but respect for an artist of this calibre.
If you have a chance to go and see his show at Creamfields, and for some reason you find yourself questioning whether it’s the right choice – don’t think about it. Do yourself a favour. Go!
Tickets to Creamfields area available here
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