Above & Beyond @ Marquee Nightclub, Sydney (04/05/2012)

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When Marquee Nightclub came to Sydney, it made the lavish promise to club goers that they would bring a monumental change to Sydney’s nightlife landscape. I didn’t doubt this, because deep pockets can accomplish nearly anything. However, I worried it would become a club that just catered to the upper echelons – or at least people who tried to look the part – of society. But as they say, don’t diss something until you’ve tried it, and who better to pop my Marquee cherry than the all-conquering Above & Beyond – who coincidentally had some redeeming to do after their lacklustre set at Creamfields.

The night began on a sombre note with waiting in line for close to an hour, and what made it that much more disheartening was the amount of people that were getting cuts to the front of the queue. Once I finally made my way past the purple velvet ropes, through the horde of security guards and finally up the escalators, I made my way into the Boom Box which is the second room in the Marquee, which caters for the break beat lovers, or as a place to take a break from the madness that is the main floor. Half past midnight was quickly approaching and it was nearly time for the juggernaut that is Above & Beyond to begin their set.

As I tried to find a spot to take in the next 120 minutes, I found myself having to keep my jaw from the floor, with the faultless production and set up: from the acoustics which had an impeccable high and low end in all corners of the room – which is something I had yet to experience at a club – lighting which had me in awe and if you were able to get close enough to the decks you were basically at eye level with the DJs!

The time was now 00:40 and A&B took their place behind the decks, greeted by a mighty roar from a packed dance floor. They began their set with a string of bangers that included Maor Levi’s Mashup Breaking 2night, which led into the uplifting and dynamic Antalya by Ost and Myer, soon after followed by Norin and Rad’s Pistol Whip, who’s bass and angelic melody enveloped the crowd through the thumping speakers – both tracks are featured on Anjunabeats Worldwide 04.

The set was packed with tracks fresh from the “Anjuna kitchen” – one of a series of messages that they wrote on the LED screen – that included A&B’s remix of Room for Happiness by Kaskade, a cracking 2012 remix of A&B and Andy Moor’s Air For Life by Norin and Rad, and a mash-up of A&B’s Prelude and Underworld’s Born Slippy.

Their set included the regular anthems from their Group Therapy album: Thing Called Love, Sun and Moon and You Got to Go. However the track that made the night for myself closely behind Air for Life was Cosmic Gate’s remix of Sirens of the Sea. While the set was banging most of the way through, it was lost on a lacklustre crowd for the most past, with a handful of songs being the exception and most of this was generated through the energy from the DJ booth and the productions.

Above and Beyond’s sounds have definitely evolved from the Trance 8.0 which were being pushed during last year’s tour, with the groovy basslines being accompanied by more progressive influences that gave their set that much more energy and that little bit heavier.

Binary Finary and DJ Ange then took the decks, playing to a crowd that was quickly dispersing after A&B’s set. It was a shame that so many left because their set was awesome, it included dance floor bombs like Chris Schweizer’s remix of Zombie Nation, Rick Mitchells and Bas van Essen’s Raptor, W&W’s Shotgun, Tristan Garner’s remix of Traffic and Wild and Perfect Day by Rank 1 and Jochen Miller.

As the time etched past 03:00 I decided to call it a day. However, I was unsure how to feel about tonight’s outing – I had a good time, music was awesome and production was impeccable, though I felt as though it could have been even better had there been a more conscious and involved crowd. I’d like to think to myself that these are all teething problems that will be resolved with time, because the Marquee was a flawless venue.


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