DFW Music News

A Year After He Almost Died, Paul van Dyk Is Back on the Road

Paul van Dyk has been a dance music staple ever since his '94 debut.
Paul van Dyk has been a dance music staple ever since his '94 debut. INFAMOUS
Paul van Dyk plays Friday, April 28, at South Side Music Hall

Paul van Dyk has been a legend in dance music since blonde highlights were a thing. Videos of him and his Sun-In streaks at '90s festivals in Germany, such as Mayday and Love Parade, are #TranceFamily scripture.

Neville Garick, confidante to Bob Marley said it best: “Most of these artists today are not stars, they’re comets; they shine in the sky for a moment and go away.”

Paul van Dyk is a star. His debut album released in 1994. “A Magical Moment" from that album sounds as good today as it did then. Six albums and 23 years later, the production is still elite and the DJ sets are brilliant.

His setup is Greek to most selectors: custom-made mixer, custom-made controller, two computers and two keyboards.  Instruments in the booth enable Van Dyk to improvise — no two sets are the same. The music sounds better when it’s understood the DJ is working hard.

Whether your favorite Van Dyk track is “We Are Alive” or “Another Way,” you can count on hearing it anew when you show up to one of his shows. Van Dyk almost died on February 27, 2016, while playing a show in the Netherlands. He fell almost 20 feet from the stage to a concrete floor, and was airlifted to a hospital in Amsterdam.

He had to learn to eat, talk and walk again; his doctors say his full recovery timeline is four to five years. But almost unbelievably, in March of this year, Van Dyk released a new single. It's called “Touched by Heaven.”

“The song isn’t about music," he says. "The title explains it all."

Just 12 months after the accident, Van Dyk is also back on tour, playing shows around the world.

“I am a musician. I will always make music. When I started, I was the freak in the corner and everyone on the dancefloor was having fun. Early on, I had to borrow money to buy records to play, " he says. “One of the first clubs I played in the U.S. was Simon’s in Gainesville, Florida. I actually stayed in [the owner] Simon’s guest bedroom for those gigs ... His cleaning lady would be hanging clothes in my room with me in there, but no problem. I would do it all again."

When we asked Van Dyk what he knew about Dallas, he jumped in before we could finish: “I know that Dirk Nowitzki is there.”

Paul van Dyk, 8 p.m. Friday, April 28, South Side Music Hall, 1135 S. Lamar St., $35, gilleysdallas.com.

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Elvis Anderson has written for the Observer since 2016. A music fan, he's an advocate for The Woody Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that improves the lives of the paralyzed.
Contact: Elvis Anderson

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