Gatecrasher Supersonic 2009 @ The Family, Brisbane (21/08/09)

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The clock stuck twelve; the dance floor looked up to the sight of a glowing white Gatecrasher lion projected by thousands of tiny LED lights. The room changed its colour to blue and green, and our moods from anticipation to excitement as Brisbane’s very own Syke and Baby Gee handed the helm over to Melbourne’s Dr Willis – the first of our Gatecrasher lineup. The sound of Brisbane started to crumble away into an exciting, lifting and pleasing ball of effected noise as green lasers started searching the room and strobes flashed to give us a false sense of time. Our main man from Melbourne built this up to its critical state before he dropped his amazing, driving beat. The transformation was complete. This was no longer The Family, this was GC2, and we were now in the hands of Gatecrasher.

Certainly, The Family is one of Brisbane’s nicest, largest and most prestigious venues, boasting a main-floor sound system large enough to please even the fussiest of dance enthusiasts. The fit out for Gatecrasher was nothing short of amazing. Colossal Gatecrasher inflatable lions flanked the DJ booth from the stage with banners hanging from all corners. An abundance of LED light arrays plastered the main room, all fully loaded with Gatecrasher artwork. The Family looked amazing, and this was topped off with impressively choreographed visual displays, impossibly synchronized with the DJs every action. Every time I return, The Family seems to be doing something extra to give the visual side of the Family experience its edge. This is one of the many reasons why Family has such an impressive trophy collection which features years of winning Best club night awards.

Dr Willis has a fascinating yet brilliant style of mixing. He utilizes all three decks within seconds of putting another tune into the mix, he already has his next track loaded and will tease the crowd with small samples. These are placed elegantly into his creation as if it were put there ever so delicately by its producers. This shows that he has enough love in his music and for his crowd to put something truly unique into each and every mix. It is no surprise that his own Freefall record label and club night are already a monumental success. Within half an hour of taking the helm of HMS Crasher, the floors were shaking in time with the new driving beat that Dr Willis had offered, and as a crowd – we accepted. Dr Willis gave us a selection of his musical platter – some of the highlights for me were Jochen Miller’s Lost Connection and Dustin Zahn’s Stranger as well as his own mixes of Yakooza’s Cocaine and Audio Bullys We Don’t Care. Dr Willis then handed his command over to David Forbes with an unexpected twist in the form of Enter Sandman.

It was now up to David Forbes to keep this energy flowing and continue evolving this evening into something truly great. David Forbes, one half of Public Domain, showed us just how good trance can be, but did so with enough grace to make the job look easy. At every turn of a knob, at every new track, he was always eager to see the reaction from the sea of people and that reaction was always phenomenal. The floor’s response to David was made only stronger when he dropped such bombs as John O’Callaghan’s Find Yourself , Dash Berlin’s Man On The Run and Ashley Wallbridge & Andy Moor’s Faces.

Wardt van der Harst aka ReWard has made a name for himself since he was just 18 with two tracks picked up by Tiesto’s Black Hole Recordings. Since then, his success story hasn’t lost any momentum. The crowd was still hungry for more, and I wasn’t sure anyone would have been able keep the dance floor moving with such ferocity. But he did, and, he did this well. He effortlessly controlled the room, bringing the entire dance floor into a singular dancing entity with some nostalgic classics like Zombie Nation and Insomnia as well as an uplifting mix of Calvin Harris’s Not Alone and his own Mainstage. The bars were empty and the couches vacant as every clubber present flocked to the floor showing their love and appreciation for ReWard.

Honestly, I was a little hesitant about heading to Gatecrasher @ Family this year around; a lot of events by similar brands have lost the very soul that we all go to be part of. Rest assured Gatecrasher has not. Gatecrasher offered more massive beats than an organic veggie farm, and Brisbane’s response was nothing short of amazing. I will be waiting eagerly for the next edition of the Gatecrasher tours, alongside everyone else present for Gatecrasher @ Family.

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