Creamfields @ Royal Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne (28/04/2012)

Image for Creamfields @ Royal Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne (28/04/2012)

Now into its third year, just how did the Aussie version of Creamfields stand up in an already jam-packed festival market? With a longstanding history and a well-earned reputation, Creamfields is an amazing music festival in the UK, but although solid performances from several key acts, unfortunately in Australia, the 2012 version just didn’t reach the mark.

Run by Totem/OneLove, Creamfields Australia returned this year with a smaller, less diverse line-up than previous years. Trance and dubstep were the main focuses and it was evident upon arrival that punters were split between two camps: David Guetta or Above & Beyond.

With the possibility of hellishly bad rain and weather, the layout of the festival was reorganized indoors to accommodate. The main stage moved into the large tent arena, which was impressive, and the trance stage was squeezed into a smaller space. An awesome darkened room, but could it handle the number of trance fans here to see big names such as W&W, Tritonal and Giuseppe Ottaviani? Given trance dominated the line-up, I couldn’t help but wonder why it wasn’t on the mainstage.

Upon arrival, I headed straight to the trance stage (Kabuki stage) to find out, where local trance hero MaRLo was already on the decks. Building a well-deserved solid reputation in Australia, MaRLo is always a pleasure to see play, even if I don’t always totally enjoy his specific style of trance. Heading over to the main stage, France’s Vitalic was finishing up a set that appeared to have built to a great peak, pounding out the electro-fused sounds. The crowd was lapping this up, bopping around in the 21 degree heat (that’s hot for Melbourne at this time of year!), accompanied by artistic visuals on the massive screen behind the producer.

Back at Kabuki, American duo, Tritonal, were already playing to a packed up-for-it crowd, loaded with Tritonal fans. Extremely energetic and engaging with the crowd, the duo basically built up the crowd on a serving of their own tracks off Piercing The Quiet and some solid winners of the current trance sound. Massive moments were when their mash-up with Super8 and tab’s Perfect Awakenings and their own number, Everafter were dropped, such a fun vibe in the room for their set. Filming the gig (like most trance DJs seem to do these days), the crowd loved the opportunity to join in. Oh and did I mention the blue lasers? Perfect for the trance crowd to get in the mood.

Back over at the main stage was current hot property of the electro sound and endorsed by Swedish House Mafia is Sweden’s Alesso. Drawing a big crowd, flames burst from the front of the stage now as well, to add to the excitement. The main stage was much busier than before, and track after track, the crowd lapped it up and sang along. Calvin HarrisFeels So Close, and Avicii’s Levels both got the entire audience fist-pumping together. Throw in a sample of Daft Punk’s One More Time and you have one very happy (mainstream) crowd.

But the act that many punters had come to see was to appear next … the guys behind the famous trance label, Anjunabeats: Above & Beyond. As per usual, only two of the trio came out … but surprisingly, this time around we got Pavo! Famously known for rarely touring, it was so great to see him out here. As like their concert at Festival Hall last year, the set revolved around the use of the screen behind them, hooked up to their laptop to send messages to the crowd. But this time, a specially angled camera captured the crowd various times throughout the set, much to the pleasure of the punters.

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