I recently passed the eight year threshold from when I first heard a Hardstyle track. I first heard this track, Gimme Love by Noisecontrollers, my senior year of high school when playing a video game with a friend. Although I was not immediately hooked by these new sounds, I wanted to learn more. Quickly, Fear.FM came into my life as I would write down specific tracks that grabbed my attention throughout summer and my first year at university.

Over a year into listening to Hardstyle, I had still never experienced this music live. That is, until a Headhunterz show was announced in my area for a month after the groundbreaking “Q-Dance Presents: Headhunterz” event, the first one in the Ziggo Dome. At the time I didn’t know anybody who liked Hardstyle at my university so I gathered up all of my courage and set out on an evening bus alone. After some time waiting to get in, and waiting through the boring opening DJs, I finally saw Headhunterz from the dance floor looking down on the anxious crowd. When Headhunterz finally came on, it all became a blur as I lost myself to tracks I had heard countless times. I clearly remember when his remix to “Lessons in Love” came on as he stood up above the CDJs absorbing the crowd energy for that specific moment. Headhunterz even played a three track encore to close out the night which I later found out was a very rare event to experience.

When the night finally came to a close, my ears ringing relentlessly, I was filled with a warm afterglow I could not put any words to. Although it was Friday morning and I still had classes to attend in 6 hours time, I was in such a state of bliss that I truly didn’t care about anything else in that moment. This was the beginning of a much bigger journey into Hardstyle than I ever could have imagined.