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Future Music Festival

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Joondalup Arena

Sunday, March 2, 2014

 

Sweltering sunshine and high temperatures were not enough to deter over 30,000 dance music enthusiasts from flocking to the Joondalup Arena for this year’s Future Music Festival. The lineup, which was heavily biased towards dance music, still gave everyone plenty of acts to suit their individual tastes.

‘The Cacoon’ and ‘The Likes Of You’ stages were divided by sea containers, which gave this area an industrial feeling to match the underground techno and deep house acts. Guy Gerber (live) struggled to get the dancers up close, perhaps due to the intense heat or because his setup on numerous occasions cut out due to the direct sunlit location on the podium. Nevertheless, he pumped out solid beats despite the technical hitches.

The main ‘Future Music Stage’ was gigantic and filled a quarter of the north end of the oval, with huge projection screens flanking each side of the impressively illuminated stage.  Swedish DJ duo Dada Life had a dance party all of their own going on, with exploding streamers filling the air in sync with the drops of their hard hitting tracks, which were mostly a solid mix of tunes from their own independent label, So Much Dada.

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While there was plenty of space to move around at the Cacoon and main stages, over on the west side it was an entirely different story. Crowds were packed together like battery hens around the Knife Party hosted ‘Haunted House’ big top, which was situated en route to the ‘Safari’ stage via a cramped bottle neck of bar queues and food stalls. This maybe contributed to the lower numbers attending that stage later in the day, but it didn’t discourage multitudes of drum’n’bass fans from enjoying the immense bass tunes of Netsky’s striking live display. The light shows in that tent were without a doubt the most impressive out of all the stages, with multi-coloured laser effects erupting from the stage to the powerful bass music that emanated all afternoon.

Meanwhile Maya Jane Coles had mustered up a solid crowd, who were by now getting their dance on to some serious underground techno rhythms that comprised of whirling bass and that distinctive 808 drumbeat

backing track. In contrast, on the other side of the fence, Kaytranada fashioned a soulful dance sway of power stabbing lead synth-infused tunes over rolling funk-induced house grooves. By now the shadows were getting longer and the sun’s heat dissipated with a cool breeze that began to provide some relief. This gave way to Dubfire who provided a solid sundowner set of collective beats and minimalistic techno for revellers who seemed oblivious to what else was going on around the arena.

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Probably the show of the day was that of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The hip hop duo entertained from the get-go with hit Ten Thousand Hours, while supported by a solid 12-piece band of horns, strings and backing vocalist the Seattle boys filled the air with sing along hits that had everyone thoroughly transfixed. Lead man Macklemore poignantly reminded the masses of the importance of gay rights equality in Australia in the build up to the moving song Same Love, receiving immense approval from the audience for his valiant words.

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Rudimental generate a powerful following and it looked like a large number of those fans were there just to see them perform a killer drum’n’bass-infused set back at the ‘Safari’ stage. DJ Locksmith pounced around the front of the stage amping up the crowd to great effect, while Piers Aggett and Kesi Dryden provided backup from their synth setups on both sides of the energetic frontman.

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The battle for supremacy of the headliner final acts was a tough choice. Returning for the sixth year in row, the godfather of Future Music, Sven Väth had his loyal followers dancing up a frenzy to round off the techno tunes on the ‘Cocoon’ stage. Väth is the master of deep progressive techno mixing and he didn’t disappoint. Deadmau5 packed a punch on the ‘Future’ stage, Paul Van Dyk played his Grammy Award-winning trance hits indoors at the ‘Future Sound System’ stage, and the French alternative indie pop act Phoenix dished up a stellar performance to a slightly disappointing turn out.

The lineup of acts at this year’s Future Music Festival had so much to offer, it was no surprise that their were smiles and cheers erupting from every corner of the huge arena.

 

MICHAEL CAVES

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