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Back in Ibiza and what better way to start the holiday with a night at Amnesia, for Cream with Paul van Dyk and Eddie Halliwell? And after the ridiculous delay to our flight, caused, apparently, by hot weather in London, of all places, we were certainly very ready to let the dancing begin.

Amnesia is my favourite club in the world. There’s something special about this place that’s hard to define. The sound system is awesome, naturally. The main room always has an incredible vibe. And then there are the ice cannons. You get ice cannons in other places too, of course – but nowhere are they as powerful and all-enveloping as here. When the room is so hot you feel faint and the beats build to a drop, the anticipation of the icy blast is almost as good as the refreshment it delivers. And it was at Amnesia, five years ago (less one week) that Renée and I met, starting the best five years of my life.

They’ve changed things a bit at Amnesia this year. Before, the DJ played up in the balcony, at VIP level. Now that part of the balcony is gone and there is a large DJ booth on the floor beneath where the balcony originally was. The DJ is still elevated and this probably gives a better connection to the dance floor from their point of view. But there was something unique about the old arrangement which I think has been lost with the change.

We arrived on the dot of 1:30, just as Eddie Halliwell started his set. After the disappointment of his New Year set in Sydney (see earlier blog post), my expectations weren’t so high. But this time around, he played a very good warm up set, building steadily so that by the time he handed over, the stage was perfectly set for PvD. He dropped all sorts of great classics, most memorably Rank 1 – Airwave and Push – Universal Nation. But overall, I felt that the set was all over the place – there didn’t seem to be a logical progression to the tunes and it felt a bit random in terms of which track followed which.

So at 3am we were ready for Paul van Dyk and he started very strongly, taking the BPMs up a level and increasing the energy on the dancefloor. Early in his set he was playing lots of mash-ups but as the night drew on, he started to let the individual tunes speak for themselves, sometimes adding a live keyboard phrase on top. We heard Underworld – Born Slippy , Ummet Ozcan – The Box and his own tunes like For An Angel and One More Time.

Although he was playing some great stuff, there were some points when I felt the set was losing its flow a little, but in the second hour he got more focused and much more trancey. And full of great classics, like Chicane – Saltwater, Robert Miles – Children and even The Thrillseekers – Synaethesia. He played his smash tune from the Evolution album, I Don’t Deserve You, but I don’t like the original mix anywhere near as much as Giuseppe Ottaviani’s remix. The only sour note for me in the whole set was when he inexplicably dropped Above & Beyond feat. Richard Bedford – Sun & Moon. Seriously.

We’ve seen PvD play better than this, most notably two years ago, again at Amnesia. But this was a great set and a perfect way to re-experience Amnesia. And it was fantastic catching up with so many friends, both from Australia and from London. I can’t wait to return next year for more of the same.

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