The upscale New York eatery Tao put the tables and chairs away for a night of dancing recently, with some help from one of the top DJs in the world, Tiësto.
Co-sponsored by Rolling Stone and Cover Girl, the fashionista-heavy party to celebrate the magazine's new Top 25 DJs list was a rare small-room engagement for the Dutch EDM giant, whose previous gigs include spinning at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympics. Nevertheless, he was clearly happy to be playing to a crowd he could watch respond in a more one-to-one manner than he's used to – even if the crowd was clearly there to socialize as much as dance.
At Tao, dubstep's deep bass modulations featured heavily in the first quarter of Tiësto's two-hour set (to the minute). He began with a splash, playing "Pair of Dice," his newly released collaborative single with Allure, followed hard by Zedd's stomping "Fall into the Sky" and Tiësto's own remix of Calvin Harris and Florence Welch's "Sweet Nothing."
But he varied things a bit, too. "I always have one or two tracks up my sleeve that people are like, 'Wow, I never thought Tiësto would play that track,'" the DJ explained. At Tao, that track was Nightcrawlers' 1995 house favorite "Push the Feeling On (MK Dub Revisited Mix)," a record far more heavily syncopated than Tiësto's usual, which he dropped about 40 minutes into the set. By comparison, throwing on Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" a couple of selections earlier was a gimme.
Even as EDM has conquered the U.S., Tiësto has laid comparatively low in the States. "I think I'm one of the few people that hasn't started playing here more than before," he said. "I'm really excited to come back, actually, and do a big college tour next year, at the beginning of February."