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When we saw the line-up for this year’s Future Music Festival at Randwick Racecourse, we decided to give it a miss. 150 acts listed and the only ones I was really keen to see were listed in 148th, 149th and 150th place. An hour of each, probably in the mid-afternoon with a small crowd and zero atmosphere – all for $150? No chance. Even by Australian standards, that is poor value for money. The festival sold out, so I suppose you can’t blame the promoters, but they’ll have to do better to get me to part with my dollars next year.

Luckily, a side show was arranged – as an official after party, promoted by Genesis. Sadly no Andy Moor on the bill, but with Cosmic Gate headlining and Ben Gold a late addition to the line-up, it did mean that we would have a chance to see Super8 & Tab. So off we went to the Metro for a night of fun.

We arrived during Nick Arbor and Tommy Knight‘s warm-up set and they were playing some great tunes to build the mood. Shortly after midnight, they handed over to Nic and Bossi of Cosmic Gate and the busy, although not absolutely packed out, crowd was treated to an extended set, full of great tunes, given the Cosmic Gate treatment. Not what the purists would call real trance, but a lot better than most of what gets put down as “trouse” these days.

Tunes like Armin van Buuren’s Unforgiveable, Paul van Dyk’s I Don’t Deserve You (in a remix that I haven’t heard before – apparently by Jerome Isma-Ae), Gabriel & Dresden’s Tracking Treasure Down and Ørjan Nilsen’s Viking were among the highlights for me. When they dropped their own Be Your Sound, Emma Hewitt made an appearance to wave to the crowd and take the applause, although not the mike. And in the last half hour Cosmic Gate gave us their two classics, Fire Wire and Exploration Of Space.

At 3am, it was time for Miika and Janne – better known as Super8 & Tab – to take their turn on the decks. I’ve long been a fan of the Finnish duo’s melody infused music and this was the first time seeing them since 2011’s Global Gathering and only the second time in a club setting. For me their set was the highlight of the night. It wasn’t Team 140 style, or even “Who’s Afraid of 138?”, but this was recognisably trance, much more so than Cosmic Gate. They played their remix of Armin and Ana Criado’s I’ll Listen, a great mash-up of Oceanlab’s Satellite and their own Awakenings, and Above & Beyond’s Can’t Sleep. They were scheduled to play till 4 o’clock, but ended up playing an extra 20 minutes … time they used to great effect, dropping their classics, Irufushi and Helsinki Scorchin’.

Ben Gold took over for the last 50 minutes of the night and I have to say, he really disappointed me. I’d seen him twice at festivals (Global Gathering in 2011 and Godskitchen in Sydney, also in 2011) and really enjoyed his sets both times. But this time round his choice of tunes left me cold. I really dislike the W&W remix of Dash Berlin’s Waiting, so my heart sank when he dropped it. Closely followed by my pet hate, Above & Beyond’s Sun & Moon. Porter Robinson’s Language must be almost as overplayed as Avicii’s Levels. I don’t really have any time for Gareth Emery’s Tokyo or Meet Her In Miami (a rip-off of the old track Meet Her At The Love Parade) – but Ben Gold obviously likes them. And he closed with W&W’s Shotgun – another tune whose popularity I just don’t understand. Hopefully this was just an off day for him, maybe I was a little tired by then, but the contrast with the earlier two sets was very marked – at least from where I stood / danced.

Overall it was a very enjoyable night – lots of fun, good friends and great music – especially from Super8 & Tab. But I can’t finish without saying once again how poor the sound at the Metro is. This time there wasn’t the distorted bass that plagued the New Year event. But at times there seemed to be hardly any bass at all. The next Genesis event I’m going to is at the Hi-Fi, where the sound is a lot better – but will they be able to use smoke and lasers?

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