After a marathon day of cultural and artistic explorations, our friends headed to Queen, a club and venue on the Champs-Elysees, to see Armin Van Buuren, a DJ from the Netherlands who has been ranked the number 1 DJ in the world. The concert was a last-minute decision for myself and my friend Tom, and we headed to the club with high hopes and the intention of enjoying a night of some of the world’s best dance music.
Unfortunately, we were a little more than disappointed. Armin’s two openers played until almost 3:30 in the morning, and although they were good, we were having trouble understanding why we paid 30 Euro for a concert that wasn’t happening. What’s more, Queen, as you may have inferred, is a gay club. Though there are still a significant amount of girls and straight men who go to the club, especially since it hosts such huge acts as Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, and Eric Prydz, this meant that a large majority of the people there were men who were bigger, stronger, and ruder than I. I felt as though I was being pushed around, and had to constantly fight away from huge guys who didn’t seem to care that I was much smaller than they were. By 3:30 I had almost had it, and as Armin took the stage I hardly even cared. At this point, Shaun and I were the only ones left from our huge group of friends – everyone else had left early when they sensed the intensity of the club and the long night ahead.
Shaun and I hung back for a while, enjoying the music from a distance and bitching about the pushy people and slutty girls that seemed to dominate the atmosphere. But I was determined to make the most of it. I pulled Shaun onto the dance floor and started to just let go, enjoying the music and letting my body do its thing. Before I knew it, we had been shuffled up to the very front, about 3 feet from Armin himself, and were enjoying the concert up close and personal. We even got our tickets signed by the DJ, who took a few minutes to sign autographs for eager fans between songs, and as he signed mine, Mr. Van Buuren looked me straight in the eye and mouthed: “Thank you”.
No, I’m not kidding. That really happened.
Shaun and I left close to 5:30, when we figured the club would be winding down and we would get stampeded by tired club-goers on their way out the door. I was sore, tired, and my ears were ringing, but I felt better about having made the most of the night rather than ditching early. It was worth it in the end.