Review of Cream, Amnesia opening party.
Reported by Shaun
Submitted 15-07-04 09:21
The white isle of Ibiza has been a hedonist paradise since way back before anyone had even coined the term ‘house music.’ Attracting hippies and other pleasure seeking party animals since the 1960s the island has mutated over the past twenty years into the ultimate clubbing destination in the world. From all continents and all races people flock there to party hard in the best clubs in the world and listen to the best dance music in the world. Cream have been a mainstay of the island’s club scene during the past ten years and seem to have hit a perfect formula: combine the best DJ talent around with the best venue around add a little bit of Cream magic and volia! a legend is born….
The opening party for this year’s season took place on June 24th at what many regard as the best club on the planet – Amnesia. Alongside the usual stellar cast of superstar DJs was one Ian Betts, London’s favourite trance DJ, resident at HeatUK and the opening act at this year’s biggest Ibiza trance party! Also on the bill were Armin Van Buuren, Tall Paul, Seb Fontaine, Audio Bullys and residents MYNC Project.
I arrived at the club at midnight eager to see Ian warm things up nicely for Armin Van Buuren. The club was quite empty at this stage but there was a big group of familiar faces from London there from the off to support Ian at his biggest gig to date. It takes a while to get your bearings in such a massive club, it holds 5,000 people; about 2000 in the main room and 3000 on the terrace with a lovely VIP area above the main room as well. The club looks and feels very Mediterranean which is fantastic as it really reminds you that you are in the warm climes of Ibiza as opposed to grey old London. Terracotta appears to be the colour de jure and the facilities there are simply awesome. Basically, think of what your perfect club would be like – excellent air conditioning? Lots of clean toilets? The most mind blowing soundsystem you’ve ever heard? Lasers? Spacious? Well this club has them all and more!
Ian’s set was just what was required at that stage of the night – deep, proggy, techy trance and house. Just the kind of thing to get you moving without realising it but not too much as to make you peak at such an early time. Warm Up sets are without doubt the trickiest to master but Ian Betts showed he could easily perform in such a role, as the venue started to fill the technicians lifted the sound in the main room to its awesome best and the crowd were really lifted as a result – it seemed we had a party on our hands!
No big strings or big riifs were required at this stage of the night, just lots of lovely twisted techy stuff from London’s finest and I struggled to recognise many tunes, which to me is always the sign of a good set. By the end of his set the main room was virtually full and the crowd were showing their appreciation for such a good set, whooping and cheering and generally having the time of their lives. A superb start to the evening from Ian that’s for sure!
Next up was the number three DJ in the World Armin Van Buuren. Armin is renowned for playing a very uplifting and euphoric trance sound but tonight he appear to have left that stuff at home and bought out his box marked ‘Dirty Trance’ He started off with some very progressive and very dreamy trance music think of the Gabriel and Dresden sound – this slightly lost the crowd and lost the momentum of Ian’s set and I think Armin realised this about 45 miins into the set when he picked up the pace with some absolute belters including ‘Phantom Menace’ by Mark Norman and ‘Dream Machine’ by Ton TB. The venue at this stage was packed and the atmosphere was breathtaking – so good to see a true mix of people in a club from all nationalities and all races, all united in their love of dance music.
Armin then continued on a more boshing vibe and played a lot of techy dirty trance including the fantastic Silence by Randy Katana and Til Ya Drop by Roland Klinkenberg. In amongst the techier stuff he would drop a big euphoric bombshell such as his new remix of ‘Communication’ and ‘Blue Fear 2004’ – great stuff! The best thing about trance in Amnesia is that it goes extremely well with Amnesia’s secret weapon : the Ice Cannon.
Without ever experiencing the ice cannon before it is pretty difficult to imagine what it is like. The cannon costs £500 per time to set off and is simply stunning. At an opportune moment in a tune (i.e. when a breakdown ends) a sound erupts across the dancefloor and before you know it a wave of supercold smoke is bellowing towards you. Once in this you cannot see in front of you and if you are directly under the cannon you literally have to hold onto people – it feels that powerful, it lasts for about 10 seconds but it’s a 10 second period of your life you’ll never forget! Undoubtedly one of the most intense experiences in clubbing! I really cannot do it justice by writing about it so you’ll have to go and check it out for yourself!
Meanwhile whilst the mayhem was continuing in the main room I thought I would check out the Terrace to see what has happening in there. DJing in the terrace when I entered was Radio One Superstar Seb Fontaine – he was laying down some seriously sexy and dirty house music and played some of the biggest tunes on the island: Flashdance by Deep Dish and Dancin’ by Morillo, Nunez and Romero. The terrace has a very different feeling to the main room – more relaxed with more places to sit but probably feels more Balearic than the main room due the plants liberally dotted around and the beautiful people dancing to the house music. The only problem I have with this room is the sound system isn’t quite big enough to fill the room (which is bigger than the main room.) As a spectacle though it really is something else!
Back in the main room Armin finished his awesome set with the perennial classic ‘Flaming June’ – a quality way to finish a quality set.
Next up was Gallery resident Tall Paul who took the music in a different direction as he played a very techy based selection of tunes. The crowd responded favourably and the main room was still going off. We however were finding that our legs were giving away having spent the day dancing at Bora Bora so we decided to leave the club at 6am.
Well, what a night! So many highlights – the best being walking in and seeing Ian Betts up in that booth, a clubbing memory that I certainly won’t forget - well done to Heat for making it possible! You can’t really get better than spending a night in your favourite club in the world, listening to your favourite music in the world and spending this with 5000 ultra friendly and up for it clubbers. If you like trance then you simply have to experience a night at Cream, Amnesia once in your lifetime!
Ian Betts is playing the opening set again at the closing party on September 16th with the world’s biggest DJs : Tiesto and Paul Van Dyk. Surely there’s never been a better time to pop your Cream., Amnesia cherry? I’ll be there for sure - Clubbing cannot get better than this!
Thanks to DJChewy for his photographs!
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Other Features By Shaun:
Nastydirtysexmusic, Interview with Tim Sheridan and Smokin' Jo
The Big Three in Ibiza reviewed: We Love Sundays at Space, Subliminal Sessions at Pacha and Cream at Amnesia...
Interview with Tim Davison.
Review of SW4 - Clapham Common, 21/08/04.
Interview with Riley and Durrant
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.
| From: Tom Foy on 15th Jul 2004 10:47.50|
Excellent review Shaun. One of my best clubbing experiences ever - an amazing night that will never be forgotton. Roll on September!
From: puffer on 15th Jul 2004 10:59.40
Nice one Shaun, great review of a top night. Seb Fontaine really impressed me to my surprise...
From: Bachelor Burkle on 15th Jul 2004 14:43.14
Great article Shaun, totally agree with your comments...just booking my flights for September 16th.
From: Steve.C on 15th Jul 2004 14:46.16
nice review, a very good advert for me to get my ass over there. That Closing party's looking very tasty indeed!!!!!
From: Pickled Pat on 15th Jul 2004 16:48.21
Shaun... Nice review! I have to say this was definitely the best clubbing experience of my life! The canon, whoa! It was fantastic! The music, whoa! EXCELLENT! Sorry your legs gave out. I found the terrace very interesting in the morning... full day light and the crowd were still going for it!!! Closing party... Tiesto, PvD and Betts, WHOA!!
From: DDK on 15th Jul 2004 21:36.47
It was absolutely awesome, atleast thats what the pics suggested
From: Mike Devine on 16th Jul 2004 11:22.59
Best club I have ever been to...AWESOME
From: DJChewy on 16th Jul 2004 12:16.19
Fantastic interview mate an amazing club indeed and the ice cannons are definitely worth the experience The Audio Bullys also definitely deserves a mention as they rocked the terrace towards the end Glad u liked the pix and for those of u who have not seen it yet - CLICK HERE to check em out & look fwd to heading back out there in the not too distant future
From: NumberPlateBoy on 19th Jul 2004 19:25.10
Great that Ian is getting these sets, but they should put him on at 2am, and he could show Armin, Van Dyk, Tiesto etc what a great trance DJ he really is
From: Lizzie Curious on 20th Jul 2004 10:55.26
brilliant piece and loved the pix. Wish I had been there!!!!
From: JohnLock on 21st Jul 2004 16:34.41
Nice review Shaun. Do we assume the love affair with Phantom Manor is over now you're referring to it as Phantom Menace?
From: Ian Betts on 23rd Jul 2004 08:19.50
Great stuff Shaun - was an amazing night Roll on Sep 16th!!!
From: Global Raver on 24th Jul 2004 16:43.29
I was proud to say I was there! First time at Amnesia, and it blew my socks off! That Ice Cannon is something else and just cannot be described!!!!!!! Just thought that it got a bit too funky for too long. Tall Paul even played one track 3 times!!! Yawn!! Big up for Mr. Van Buren though!!!!!!!
From: Aimsta on 26th Jul 2004 01:41.47
Like everyone else it was a night to remember! You just can't beat Ibiza clubbin
From: Jackson on 30th Jul 2004 10:28.54
Great night, i loved the palm tree's reminding us we are on holiday =)