sydneysoldoutLast weekend threw up one of those dreadful clashes, where two of the world’s best trance DJs are pitted against each other at different venues in the same city. We originally had tickets to see John 00 Fleming play his annual extended set at the Chinese Laundry. However, as we’d seen J00F three times for a total of nearly six hours over the European summer, we opted instead to make our way to The Metro Theatre for a five hour set by Fadi, of Aly & Fila (who, by contrast, we’d only seen for 90 minutes, in Ibiza).

img_3720Two years ago, at the same venue, Fadi had played one of the best sets in recent years and made a bit of a name for himself by offering to pay any fines incurred if he could just be allowed to play an extra hour (“fuck the police!”), before the venue and promoter insisted he finish. As a result, the levels of anticipation and excitement for his return were unsurprisingly high. And with the fortune of finding friends near the head of the queue, we were inside in good time for the start of the night.

img_3722While the consensus of those I spoke to afterwards was that this night did not quite match up to the magic of the 2014 event, I thought it was a really good set, showing Fadi at his best as he built quickly through some progressive tunes so that he could spend the majority of his set at the 138-140bpm mark, where he excels. The set included a heavy sprinkling of classics, but not simply the obvious ones that seem to get dragged out so often.

Of course there were many Aly & Fila productions – The Other Shore (Solarstone Pure Mix),  Where To Now (feat. Sue McLaren), For All Time (with Jaren), Laily (feat. Karim Youssef – Photographer Remix) and Lost Language among them. Plus a lot of collaborations: Aly & Fila with Skypatrol feat. Sue McLaren – Running, Aly & Fila vs. The Thrillseekers – Es Vedra, Solarstone and Aly & Fila – Fireisland (Aly & Fila Uplifting Mix), Aly & Fila with Luke Bond feat. Audrey Gallagher – Million Voices. Not to mention several Aly & Fila remixes, such as Ferry Corsten – Beautiful (Aly & Fila Remix), Luke Bond feat.Roxanne Emery – On Fire (Aly & Fila Remix) and Ferry Corsten press. Moonman – Galaxia (Aly & Fila Remix).

The highlights of the night for me personally were when he unexpectedly dropped two old Anjunabeats classics that I haven’t heard for years and years: Super8 & P.O.S. pres Aalto – 5 and P.O.S. – Remember (Summer Sun). Pure magic!

The sound was pretty good too, something that The Metro has sometimes struggled with and the lights and laser show was spot on, although as we spent most of the time right at the front, we probably didn’t get to experience the best of this.

Fadi himself was clearly having a great time and when he brought the set to a close with Aly & Fila feat. Jwaydan – We Control The Sunlight and Aly & Fila with Ferry Tayle vs. Above & Beyond feat. Zoë Johnston – Nubia Is Good For Me, it was inevitable that he would ask to play for another hour. To the crowd’s delight, the promoter initially agreed – only to return a couple of minutes later with the venue’s (or most probably the police’s) insistence that the night was over.

img_3726This was one of the best nights of trance in Sydney this year and I had absolutely no regret at choosing it over the J00F option (if only I could have cloned myself and done both!). And the great news is that Fadi told us all at the end that he would be bring the Future Sound Of Egypt 500 celebrations to Sydney next year – let’s hope it’s not while I’m in Europe, or the same night as John 00 Fleming is playing elsewhere in Sydney!