Creamfields @ Sydney EQ, Sydney (29/04/2012)

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Creamfields has marked the end of the festival season since its inception three years ago, and like most things, I hoped that with age it would develop and reach the potential that it had: to be a smaller scale festival that catered to a handful of genres from the EDM spectrum. So with a lineup that had real potential, I crossed my fingers and my legs hoping that everything would run smoothly today.

This year saw the festival implement a new stage layout, which saw the main stage remain in the Entertainment quarter show ring, the bass and local stage move to the Coachbay and the Kabuki vs Genesis vs Masif stage to the HI FI – meaning that the festival size was almost cut in half from previous years. As I made my way to see the first act it was about 14:30 and the main stage was slowly filling up, and the local and bass stages were at half capacity.

My first destination for the day was to see Australia's up and coming MaRLo, who delivered a faultless set incorporating tech trance with touches of prog-house to devastating effect. After last year's successful Stereosonic tour and his performance at Creamfields, I feel he has claimed the title of Australia's best trance DJ. The standard MaRLo set would have been difficult to match, let alone exceed, but America's Chad Cisneros and Dave Reed aka Tritonal gave it a one hell of a crack. While the set did have its great moments with their tracks Slave and Apex really getting the crowd going they fell short of the mark that MaRLo had set.

The time was quickly approaching 16:45 and I made my way to the main stage to see Alesso, the almost-fourth member of Swedish House Mafia, take his place behind the decks. Boy, did he put together a banging set: launching off the blocks with a mash-up of Greyhound and Antidote soon followed by the Axwell remix of In My Mind. However, the audio for Alesso's set was an absolute joke – often inaudible and constantly being turned up and down for reasons unknown. But this didn’t unnerve the young Swede, whose set was loaded with big room bombs that included Porter Robinson's Language vs Dune's Heiress of Valentina, Ingrosso's bootleg of Feels So Close vs Raise Your Head as well as a cracking mash-up of One More Time and Pressure.

It was now time now for trance heavyweights Above & Beyond to take their place on the not-so-familiar main stage. After slowing down the pace considerably after Alesso's energy packed set, they attempted to build up their set in typical A&B style. But the combination of build-up tracks, the ridiculously low volume and unaware crowd for the most part meant that much of the magic that A&B craft through their sets was lost. Some of the standout tracks from their set were Maor Levi's mash-up Breaking 2night and Swoon remix, Mozart by Anjunabeats prodigal sons Mat Zo and Arty, and A&B's Thing Called Love. It was now 18:40 and I decided to head over to the HI FI for W&W's set.

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