in the archives
This article was first published on our original site MyCityLife way back on the 6th of March 2014
The Safari themed jungle-naut of Future Music Festival stampeded into the Brisbane Showgrounds on Saturday for stop #1 of the tour and for the first time at its new (recently refurbished and developed) home. In doing so, it allowed Future and Frontier to share facility costs while also allowing for some protection should the notorious Brisbane Future weather deliver downpours yet again.
Happily, the climate was perfect for standard pride land behaviour of locking horns and strutting cock-tail feathers for the fairer sex, as has become the standard. The line-up stretched its wings over most of dance music’s genres – also the standard, in an effort to maximise appeal; although at times I felt the wings flex under the weight of the names. From the outset, it was clear when queuing for the watering holes that attendance was down. For a purebred, it made navigating about the land a welcomed breeze.
First stop on the day’s hunt was the much-anticipated Haunted House, which, at the peak of the day’s 30o temperature was a welcomed respite for warm-blooded animals. The production, lights and decorations were elaborate and the Canadian boys from Adventure Club made themselves at home with their electro and dubstep littered set. Netsky bought their stripped-back British drum bass sound into its own, with Come Alive punctuating the set adored by youths alike- highlighting the belief that We Can Only Live Today.
From the Cocoon Stage, Dubfire was unleashing his techno set to a devoted legion of followers. It was the perfect soundtrack to the sun beginning to set over the Future kingdom and despite dealing with sound cut-outs, showed that fans’ salivation over Deep Dish’s reunion at Ultra will be deliciously rewarded. Sven Vath’s closing set held his signature sound, though the lack of surrounding un-cocoon-like walls effected that iconic muddiness, where the tones blithely flew off into the night air rather than rebounding, trapped and fixed off desired surfaces and ramparts.
In a spacious pavilion perfect for wild behaviour to run amuck, the Future Sound System Stage kept the EDM, trance and euphoric heads happy, with banging performances from Chuckie, Arty and ATB. Markus Schulz was an especial stand out with a tight set that explored the realms of wastelands far and wide, while Paul van Dyk’s rig was to be believed, as plentiful as the gear was with his stunning show of visuals, lights and hard trance.
The Likes of You Stage was a special surprise, with Brodinski and Gesaffelstein (live) particular highlights though it was Paul Kalkbrenner a lush discovery. His set made it clear why his reputation is so elephantine in Europe, with such clean lines, behemoth equipment and immaculate beats.
But it was the Future Music Stage that called often during the day. I was keen to see how Kaskade would adjust his set now we were both away from the bright lights of Vegas and it’s delectable dollars. His set dined out more so on a diet of electro and less progressive and the herd never really followed. Grammy Award-winning hip-hoppers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis delivered a thrifty and smooth blend, highlighted by ‘all the hits’ with the loudest roar being received for… yes, you guessed it.
And after his nail-biting migration from LA (for Eric, Future bosses and his fans) Eric Prydz then trotted on stage with plenty to prove. The DJ’s DJ opened with his potent remix of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus and delivered a master class in how to hunt down a reluctant crowd and reel them in as if he really was returning from hibernation. He stuck to his Pryda alias’ tracks including Niton (The Reason), Allein and finishing with Everyday. If everyday Pryda hunted like this, I wondered how I would survive.
Consummate professional Hardwell continued to deliver the tribe exactly what they wanted. Despite the volume being reduced mid-set his electro house set was underlined with Spaceman, Encoded and the sing-along Dare You. Indeed, his set was helped by the visual delights of ‘enough CO2 to launch a spaceship’ and African sunset-orange flames.
Deadmau5 followed next. This was to be his new show’s debut with Deadmau5’ renewed quest to be king of the production jungle, comprising of three tonnes of fully computerised LED cube. There’s only one other 4-sided shape toured by a couple of robots that I’ve seen, which beats it. Impressive probably doesn’t do the setup the justice it deserves, and as he worked out the early kinks, crowds should look forward to responding like big cats in headlights. Rob Swire’s vocal version of Ghosts and Stuff had the well-trained flock communicating in unison, Suckfest9001 broke it down and Raise Your Weapon put the festival to bed, cap stoning his closing set.
The African Safari ‘big five’ was definitely rumbling in the Future jungle. Any number of acts could easily have warranted the zoom lens to secure the prized picture of the artists in their natural habitat, but then along came a Pryda and sat down beside them, and blew us all away.
Photo Credit: AXL IMAGING