Creamfields @ Supreme Court Gardens, Perth (05/05/2012)

Pitching up the tents for the third time in Australia, the UK based dance marathon that is Creamfields rolled into Perth on May 5. Those patrons brave enough to pull through the desultory weather would have been welcomed into the new Supreme Court Gardens arena, a nice change from the Claremont showgrounds being centrally located, and for those who still have excess energy after 10 hours of dancing, proximate to Perth’s main clubbing districts.

The lineup this year – while not being entirely star studded – still held a considerable amount of top artists; featuring the likes of Above and Beyond, Dirty South, Alesso and of course, David Guetta. Not to mention a huge amount of local talent with Shockone, Phetsta, German and Illuminor, plus the largest silent disco setup that I’ve ever seen all full of local artists.

Upon arrival, I headed straight down to the Kabuki tent so I could catch MaRLo ripping up the dancefloor in his usual digital prowess. With a few more productions behind him, there’s little doubt MaRLo will go straight to the top of the trance scene in Australia. During his set the Kabuki tent was packed with what looked like to be the majority of Creamfielders present at the time, which I found to be rather surprising as generally, trance stages only fill out towards the late afternoon. At the very least, this turnout was indicative of MaRLo’s skill as a crowd pleaser, however on a deeper level I hope that it’s also indicative of Perth’s growing trance scene.

Tritonal was up next and judging by the serious looks on their faces, it seems the duo knew they had a tough act to follow. Despite starting off a little shaky, they soon worked their way up to provide yet another terrific performance, pulling yet more wanderers into an already packed tent with their boundless energy and enthusiasm.

Needless to say, upon the finishing of Tritonal’s set and the arrival of Alesso, all attention was then shifted to the main stage. Alesso’s set wasn’t a huge head banger, but it did provide a respite between the hard-hitting trance of the Kabuki stage and the stomach wobbling basslines from the Bass area. But Alesso’s ability to throw out endless crowd pleasers prevailed, dishing out songs such as his own Raise Your Head and of course his superb remix of Alex Kenji and Starkiller’s Pressure.

Finally it hit 5:45 and the moment I was eagerly waiting for finally arrived: Above & Beyond. The group took to the stage in their usual style, delivering a performance that lived up to their superstardom. With a various mix of Anjunabeats/deep and some more progressive tunes, the trance oligarchs played a set that seemed to be erring on the side of caution. Perhaps if they were headlining the Kabuki tent, the pressures of playing to a ‘mainstream-mainstage’ audience wouldn’t have prevented them from going all out.

Come 7:15pm, it was time to ramp it up for Dirty South, impressively allotted a peak period timeslot. Normally, he would be playing in the mid-afternoon and not playing opener to the main act. But Dragan is always up to the task of providing a special experience for his audience, and true to form his mixture of progressive and electro house got heads turning and banging. What was especially entertaining was the selection of Australian songs and remixes that he seamlessly wove into the set, this selection really seemed to spark life into the crowd and provided what I think was the best set of the night.

A short break followed as David Guetta prepared in all his brilliance to arrive on stage in style. As the rain started to patter down and the freezing wind picked up I mulled over going into the Kabuki tent to stay warm, however holding true to the review I prevailed through the weather and David’s set. With all the usual songs flying around Sweat, Sexy Bitch and Memories, it’s no wonder the crowd was going mad, however the only song that made me jiggle a little was Guetta and Aviici’s production Sunshine. All in all, Guetta’s set was as everyone would expect it to be: if you’re a fan of Guetta then it was brilliant, and if you’re one of his haters, well, you probably just wouldn’t have gone to see it.

With that all wrapped up, I must admit that while Creamfields is nowhere near on par with the likes of Stereosonic or Future Music Festival. It does, however, seem to present some of the charms of festivals like Parklife: the smaller open areas and stages gives you the freedom to pick and choose to go anywhere at anytime, and still make it in time to see your favourite artist.