Review: W&W at The Commodore Ballroom
People say Vancouver is the city that really knows how to sleep. We’ve been dubbed No Fun City for a reason, allegedly. Well, apparently the folks creating cynical monikers and blindly pointing fingers have never been to an EDM show in this city.
On this night (er, morning?) Dutch DJs W&W helped give Vancouver’s slump of a reputation a run for its money. The Netherlands-based duo packed The Commodore Ballroom to capacity, and the DJs otherwise known as Willem van Hanegem and Wardt van der Harst kept the party going until the wee hours of the morning.
With a setlist that seemed to nearly replicate the duo’s recent headlining main stage set from Tomorrowland, W&W were more than ready to get the wide-eyed Commodore crowd into full party mode.
It may have been a 1 AM start time on a weekday, but the good vibes carried the crowd through thanks to W&W’s deep catalogue loaded with enough house and trance anthems to keep audience members raging well past the SkyTrain’s operating hours.
The guys boasted a massive slew of hugely catchy EDM songs that seem to emerge from a bottomless pit, and their affectionate crowd had no trouble identifying these tunes without seconds of each song’s respective intros. The excited crowd was treated to a spectrum of bangers ranging from originals like “Put Em Up” to remixes of modern favourites like Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha’s “In The Name Of Love” and Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You”.
W&W is a group not afraid to pull out the stops for the sake of their crowd either. Classic dance favourites like Da Rude’s “Sandstorm”, Harold Faltermeyer’s “Axel F”, and Corona’s “The Rhythm of the Night” were woven into the set seamlessly, interspersed with original material like the monstrously catchy new single “Whatcha Need” or the fittingly titled “Rave After Rave”.
Naturally, the duo’s original material got the biggest pops of the night, and there was plenty of this fare to go around. Fan favourite tracks like “Supa Dupa Fly”, and “Live The Night” (a collaboration with Hardwell and Lil Jon) had the sweaty, sticky crowd getting up in one another’s personal space quite heavily.
Recent trends in EDM show that to hear your favourite DJ’s tunes in a live setting you don’t necessarily need to see that particular DJ, as all of the big names in the scene tend to pilfer each other’s catalogues for the sake of a banger-heavy set. W&W’s set was no stranger to this concept, borrowing from fellow big league contemporaries like The Chainsmokers (“Don’t Let Me Down”), Axwell /\ Ingrosso (“More Than You Know”), and David Guetta (“Ain’t A Party”).
The production team behind W&W’s graphics are equally on par with the DJs’ talent, helping to illustrate the music with a visual buffet. During “Rocket” (the duo’s collab with Blasterjaxx) a glorious yellow sunrise appears behind the DJ deck on the screen.
Basically the entire set carried A-list video production that helped elevate the already killer party to the next level. Whether the crowd was bothering to pay attention to the screens in between busting a move is unlikely though, especially when they’re being asked every couple of minutes to “Put your hands up in the air and make a W.”
Seeing so many W-shaped hands in the air was a fun sight to behold. Sometimes it’s better just to join in and play along. Take a page from this playbook, Vancouver. Fun is out there if you want it.