5 Years of Great Stuff @ The Arthouse, Sydney (25/04/09)

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Last week was possibly one of the longest weeks of the year so far. Daydreaming about Saturday night is a regular occurrence – in the office, on the train, over dinner, in the shower – but when Saturday night features DJs/producers you’ve been looking forward to seeing for months (you know what that’s like), it’s hard to think about anything else. By Tuesday, I seriously thought the 5 Years of Great Stuff show at The Arthouse was never gonna arrive.

The lineup at the door just after 10pm wasn’t bad – we were inside in under 10 minutes. And there was a very decent, well-behaved crowd on the night. I spoke to a couple of holidaying blow-ins present with no idea who Martin Eyerer, Tomcraft or Lützenkirchen are (it’s Sydney. On a Saturday night. It’s going to happen), and a couple of seedy-looking stumblers who must’ve been enjoying ANZAC day – all day – with alcohol-infused gusto. But it seemed the majority of punters were there for the same reasons: to delight in techno birthday goodness brought by the boys for a solid five-and-a-half hours. No crossovers. It wasn’t going to be a quiet night.

Murat Kilic killed it with a sexy little warm-up for starters. Apart from feeling it, you just had to look at the crowd – great big leaping groups of excitement. At first, the place was really kind of empty – maybe about 70 people scattered around the main room and a smattering more in the side room. But shortly after 11pm, Martin Eyerer’s expected start time, the place was full as, with a smashed together but happy together bunch bounding to the beats in anticipation of the boys’ arrival. Kilic gave the crowd the build up it wanted – a well received and appreciated set, including George Murel’s Let’s Groove, and Reality Check (Vincenzo Remix) by Audio Soul Project, before ending with Johnny D’s latest, Sliding Away.

The Great Stuff guys were slightly delayed, but it didn’t seem to irk the crowd too much – everyone was just too goddamn excited and hyped up to start getting pissed off about anything. As soon as they arrived on stage close to 11.30pm, the crowd rose to greet them with hands in the air. At the top of the crush, several nods that tend to translate as “Aw, yeah!” were exchanged between punters. Eyerer was first up with a scheduled two-hour stint and, after a few photographs, was quickly busying himself setting up the stage. With Tomcraft taking a few pics of the crowd, he leaned in close to Eyerer, who stuck his tongue out for the close-up while the speakers blared out, “You will not like me now, and you will not like me as we go on,” (couldn’t be further from the truth) and the night had officially begun. Eyerer plied the crowd with a wicked mix of electro, tech house, tribal and even a bit of samba thrown in. Everyone obeyed his playful and cheeky set, a fantastic mix of older tracks – including Lützenkirchen’s Daily Disco from 2005 – and fresh tracks.

We dropped into the side room for a few minutes to get a bit of Ben Morris, who was giving everyone in there a bit of minimal, perfect for a little break from the heated mash-up close to the stage in the main room. Nice work. But we headed back into the madness at the right time – Eyerer was dropping his awesome new track Seven Lives, a collaboration with Namito and Stephan Hinz released on Eyerer’s own label Kling Klong. Beautiful little tune.

It was bittersweet to see the end of his two-hour slot – his set was epic, but there was no time for chin stroking – it was time for Tomcraft to take over the stage. And what a good start – hands were in the air once more for his opening track, a top choice, Pryda’s Armed. The switch-over was seamless and the energy only got more explosive in the room as Tomcraft got busy. Again, lots of old-school mixed with some new stuff – a high-energy dose of techno and even some trance-y moments thrown in there, too. Although, around the 2.30am mark, the room seemed to skip a beat when the sounds of Fatboy Slim’s Funk Soul Brother busted out of the speakers. A strange choice? Or maybe it just gave a few of us a quick reminder of that disappointing effort from the headliner at Good Vibes back in February. Anyway, I digress, Tomcraft’s set packed a powerful punch and the room was electric for another two hours. His set was probably a favourite of the night for many, and hands were back in the air when he dropped his classic Loneliness towards the end, before passing the stage over to Lützenkirchen.

What Lützenkirchen can do during a live set never ceases to amaze. In my opinion he did a cracking job, it’s seriously impressive watching him in action. As promised, he played most of his own stuff and threw in a lot of unreleased material which seemed well-received by most. Highlights of his set included All That Jazz, and crowd-pleaser Monster in my House from his own label Platform B. Unfortunately his set was cut short and he wasn’t on stage for as long as I’d have liked (possibly due to the late start), but he gave as good as the others. Predictably, he finished the Great Stuff effort with 3 Tage Wach, but it was fitting nonetheless.

All night, the boys celebrated with the crowd. When they weren’t working their magic on stage, they were wandering around the club, chatting with punters, signing much-loved merchandise and posing for pics. I don’t understand why the crowd fizzled out so quickly when 3 Tage Wach began to fade. A shame for those who chose to leave – Emerson Todd was well worth hanging around for. All in all, an epic night.

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Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho said on the 29th Apr, 2009

A superb night indeed. More of these label parties should occur in sydney.