I recently went to my first Trance concert a month ago, although I’ve been a fan of the genre for awhile. I’ve been to many concerts of many different genres, and that was far and away the best show I ever went to. I thought I liked Trance music before, but when I went to that concert I became obsessed. Also, I’m not the only one who had love at first sight. Many people agree that Trance isn’t just a genre of music, it’s an experience.
There’s something about Trance concerts that makes the genre of music just so much better. The music pulsing through seemingly everyone in the crowd, coming from some of the most talented musicians on Earth. Huge crowds that know every word to every song and know every drop and every breakdown as if they made the song themselves. Trance is a very different kind of music in the sense that they have arguably the best fan base. They are not just fans; their a family. And that family is making Trance more and more popular in the United States.
It is almost impossible to describe the following Trance has in the US. For a lot of people, it is almost like a cult in the sense that there is a large group of people trying to invite other people to experience just how great the Trance culture is. However, this is never done in a creepy, aggressive, “just drink the Kool-aid way” but instead in a desire to share something they truly adore because the Trance family truly believes that after you experience a show, you will love it.
What is also very interesting about Trance music is how it is basically staying out of the public spotlight and being a real underground movement. Other types of electro music has become very mainstream recently. House became majorly popular by artists like Avicii, whose song “Levels” became a top pop hit, and Calvin Harris, who has pop hits and is collaborating with many powers in pop culture, such as Rihanna. Dubstep started gaining consciousness in the everyday American with artists like Skrillex, who not only is commercially popular, but is critically popular as well, which is shown by him winning 3 Grammys in 2012.
The main reason that Trance can grow in popularity without ever reaching public consciousness is due to Trance fans being very adamant over social media. Twitter seems to be a very powerful tool, which is recognized by the musicians (such as Dash Berlin calling his latest album #musicislife) and by fans (one of the major Trance aggregate sites in the United States being called #trancefamily).
As stated, Trance has yet to creep into the average American’s mind like other electro music has, which means it is completely moved by the counterculture. In a way, many would argue that it has many parallels to one of the most powerful sociocultural movements in American history; The hippie movement of the 1960s.
Obviously there are major differences between the two. The hippie movement really was an offshoot of dissatisfaction with the American government, and was purely an American product. While Trance is getting popular in America, it has nowhere near the level of popularity that it has around the world. According to The DJ List (a major aggregate site that brings all Electro/DJ music to the world) there is only 1 American that is within the top 20 Trance DJ’s in the world, Markus Schulz. However, the main ideals and components to both movements are very similar.
First and foremost, they are based around Peace and Love and Understanding. Trance music is really an offshoot of rave culture, which takes many of its qualities from the hippie movement. Above all else, Trance music is about peace and love, which is obvious by the family mentality Trance fans have. There are no nicer fans than Trance fans and fights at Trance concerts are seemingly unheard of, much like the Hippie Movement which made Peace and Love a mainstream idea.
Another major factor in both movements are drugs, specifically psychedelic drugs. By the end of the Hippie Movement in the late 1960′s, drugs such as ecstasy and LSD were not as important to the experience as they were in the early movement. This has extended to Trance in the sense that drugs do not completely coincide with the music, but it is definitely there, as it is in all other rave culture. I’m not saying that this is a good or a bad thing, I’m just saying that it is part of the culture. However, in both movements they are intended to simply enhance the music and make the experience more momental. Whether that is really the case is certainly debatable.
Essentially, Trance is unique because of the friendly environment that goes along with it. The movement in America is really about people coming together on a massive scale, with music as their common interest. Trance takes music off the radio, and into the hands of the fans. And those fans are some of the most loyal fans in all of music. Many seem to think Electro music like Trance or Dubstep will eventually lose popularity in Ameirca when they get out of the public spotlight. However, Trance seems to be a mainstay in America because of the fans. And they are not on some bandwagon, these are music fans who are really buying into Trance culture as an integral part of their lifestyle. The values that are present in Trance include living life to the fullest, being loving and accepting, and uniting over common interests. And these are values that everyone should want to have.