The Beatdown

Aging heavy-metal acts might take solace in claiming to be "big in Japan," but DJ Tiësto (just plain Tijs Verwest to his parents) has achieved an international renown that borders on megalomania. Despite the recent drug overdose of a fan at an April 22 show in Jarkarta, Tiësto brings his lights, lasers, videos and vinyl to Dallas on Wednesday in support of his most recent collection, In Search of Sunrise 5: Los Angeles.

Besides playing the opening ceremony at the Summer Olympics in Athens, Tiësto has sold out 25,000 seat stadiums across Europe and the Middle East. But even though he's extremely popular (not to mention the winner of DJ Magazine's "best DJ" title three years in a row), Tiësto's music isn't often considered pop-conscious at all, other than the fact that you can shake your ass to it. Frankly, this Dutchman's way with the grooves has translated into something far more than the meat-market boogie generally associated with the genre. Known for his six-hour, trance-inducing live sets, Tiësto made inroads with the American pop market with his remix of Delerium's "Silence," a dense, lengthy house track that incorporated a classic Kraftwerkian throb to back Sarah McLachlan's always-unearthly vocals.

After working with polar opposites such as Sixpence None the Richer and Dave Matthews (?),Tiësto has recently turned critical heads with his audacious reworking of the theme from A Clockwork Orange; not exactly your typical DJ fare. Sure, a few techno clichés linger in his career--after all, the aforementioned Indonesian youth OD'ed on Ecstasy--but as long as the speakers are pumping, Tiësto will continue to push boundaries across the globe.


DJ Tiesto spins at Blue on Thursday, May 25.

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