ELROW @ Metro City gets 9/10

 

Elrow @ Metro City
w/ Edu Imbernon, Marc Maya, Bastian Bux, Doorly
Saturday, January 27, 2018

9/10

Elrow is an Ibiza club night famous for putting on crazy, fully immersive, themed parties. Having finished the season at Amnesia on the white isle, they are now touring the world, spreading their brand of madness.

To end the massive long weekend in style, Habitat brought Elrow to Perth for the first time, with their Psychedelic Trip show, and what a debut party it was.  The cavernous interior of Metro City was transformed into a magical fantasy playground, decked out with all sorts of props and colourful characters.

The main stage DJ booth was perched high up inside a giant hippy combi van flanked by giant glowing multi-coloured trees and magic mushrooms that glowed phosphorus blue. The banner ROWDSTOCK hung above the stage, and various props like a giant peace signs and giant joints hung from the ceiling, bathed in colourful light.

As well as a host of DJ talent, there were around 25 performers on the night – actors, stilt walkers, puppeteers – roaming around the crowd and on stage, in all manner of crazy get-ups.

There was a solid lineup of DJ talent across three rooms all night too, including four internationals and a host of the finest locals. Around 2000 people filed into the venue over the night and spread out across the mammoth Metro City, upstairs and downstairs. It really was quite a spectacle. Shouts out to Habitat for taking a punt on something different, which judging by the response was a resounding success.

Early on Green George kicked things off on the main stage, before Habitat main men Flex and James A really got things rolling in the combi.

Edu Imbernon was the first international to follow, and the man from Valencia proved he’s as a good a DJ as producer, putting on a great show, with some really nice builds and breakdowns. A winding, drawn out remix of Music Is The Answer was a highlight, as was finishing on the Armand Van Helden classic You Don’t Even Know Me.

Meanwhile right up on the Habitat Rooftop Terrace Tachee was laying down some more laidback house beats to a loose crowd of chilled out groovers. It was great to see so many people get into the sprit of things with all sorts of crazy costumes and outfits. There was plenty of glitter on offer that many girls and guys seemed to be making the most of.

In the main room Imbernon was handing over to fellow Spaniards Marc Maya and Bastian Bux, a couple residents at Elrow, who know all about these parties, May and Bux played back to back for the next two hours, and put on the best party set of the night, bouncing around behind the decks with infectious enthusiasm. Kicking in with a remix of Moloko’s classic Sing It Back they quickly drew in and transfixed the crowd.

There really was a great vibe in the club. Good people having a good time. There was no aggro, apart from a brief moment where a couple guys fired up at each other (ironically under a dangling peace sign) but before it could really turn into a fight, it was broken up by the crowd who were having none of that.

It’s hard to get aggro or take things too seriously when people are covered in glitter, wearing crazy head gear, and you’re surrounded by giant mushrooms, giraffes and the Mad Hatter is rolling giant joints. There was a real fun old skool rave vibe, where you could cast aside your inhibitions with reckless abandon.

By now the dancefloor was well and truly packed, and was getting pretty hot and humid. So it was great to have another couple rooms to escape to. A couple levels up, out front of the venue, was the Kinky Malinki Den, where Dekski and Saul Bliss were providing the vibes in the cosy area decked out with red Chinese lanterns.

The Spanish duo were blowing things up in the main room, literally, as confetti canons exploded over the crowd, raining down, as a sample rang out “Today people go out to get fucked up.” A lineup of assorted crazy characters got up on stage and started dancing, including the Elrow duck. Cirez D’s On Off was a massive tune and they finished with the jacking funk of Paul Johnson’s Get Get Down.

Around 2.30am Doorly stepped up. An in-demand name these days – as both a DJ and producer – he’s made a real name for himself in his native UK as well as the US, where he currently resides, collaborating with everyone from popstars like Nicki Minaj and Usher to more underground legends like Cajmere aka Green Velvet.

He took over with a techno version of Madonna’s Vogue featuring a male vocalist, but wasted no time upping the intensity, playing deeper, harder uncompromising tech house with a twisted electro edge.

As a Pioneer Ambassador, Doorly is a wiz behind the decks, utilising four CDJs and some MPC type looping kit, constantly working the heavy stomping insistent beats, tweaking hard on the mixer, dropping in some tribal, afro beats and chanting.

Meanwhile the other two other rooms were still pulling a good crowd, with the Kinky Malinki Den of delights putting on the party all night, and up on the rooftop Callum Duncan finished off with a really good boogie set. This outside space at Metros is such a great spot, that isn’t utilised enough. The vibe was great outside and it provided a nice respite away from the heat and humidity of the main room.

But most people were in the main room where Doorly closed out his set. Technically he cannot be faulted, he’s constantly busy behind the decks, mixing looping, sampling. At times his set was a bit hard and stomping and didn’t seem as well suited to the vibe as the boys from the Mediterranean, but he always kept it moving, deftly darting through genres.

He finished strongly on the more upbeat, familiar sounds of Mall Grab’s Feel Good House and the quirky pan-pipe led banger Bonita by Ninetoes, mixing in the odd vocal from Q-Tip’s Breathe & Stop, as more confetti explosions and inflatables were released on the crowd. Leaving to big cheers, Doorly handed over to Habitat resident Jimi J to close out the night in style.

An incredibly fun night, and an amazing adventure through the looking glass. It’s just great to see a gig that really puts the effort in to transport you to another world even if only just for one night… hopefully we’ll see Elrow back in town again soon.

ALFRED GORMAN

Photos by Anthony Tran

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