When we arrived in the Northgate Theatre to hear Paul Van Dyk spin, DJ Federal aka Chad Owen was on the stage. He was playing moving hardcore trance tracks that set a great mood. Even with the slanted floor, it was great to move around to the beat. In my view, he spun a better set than Paul Van Dyk.
Paul Van Dyk started off in a way that was quite disappointing, but I've figured that most DJs save their best track selections for the last. (Even though this needn't be the case, has a psychological effect in that when things get good, you think they've gotten great.) The music gradually built up into a frenzy (it didn't take long at all) and within a few tracks, the crowd was jumping around. This show ranks among the best ones that I've seen, and, from my perspective, puts Van Dyk among the top DJs who live up to their reputation.
I do have a lot of complaints about the venue, and it'd take a lot for me to get to go there again. The slanted floor is one major issue. The bathrooms are another. Even though I view the Northgate Theatre as a successor to the now-defunct NAF Studios, and the bathrooms are of a higher quality than the portable toilets at NAF, their size and the fact that there's only one for the entire theatre makes it a nuisance. Finally, the best sound exists when you are on the dance floor, but there's no piping of the music to the outside area (near the toilets) or to the bar above.
This all leads to one major point: I dislike turning DJs into the equivalent of rock stars. One of the nice things about DJ culture is that it's more about dancing than it is about the person spinning the disks. The set up of Northgate is such that it is suited for rock shows, but not for a DJ spinning (Noiselab, for example, is much more amenable to providing a wholesome electronic music experience). In other words, I want to be in a room/atmosphere where I am grooving to the music, not staring a DJ changing records.