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Review: Cream Closing pt 1, 12th September

An excellent Group Therapy session with only one more Cream to go...

“This is Ibiza. This is heaven.” Above and Beyond's message beamed out to an impressionable host, main room clubbers hanging on every word and every drop with hands outstretched and heads facing up. Wait - how did we get to such a golden trance rave moment? Standard proceedings at Cream Ibiza really, but let's rewind to how the night began.

It began with a vodka OJ, and a warm up set from Cream regular Gareth Wyn. Wyn was in good form and good spirits, stoking the embers of a crowd that was still in the process of finding its spark with pearlers like his own remix of Garnier's Man With The Red Face. To aid the cause Wyn snuck in an early epic breakdown moment which, when accompanied by a dazzling rainbow laser display, started to take the night its grand-scale direction.

Wyn absolutely had his moments of crowd captivation, but you couldn't mistake the energy spike when Paavo Siljamäki skipped up to the booth, the sole representative and Finnish component of Above and Beyond. At first I thought it a shame not to have more of the team present, but Paavo quickly proved he had energy enough for three, and having no companions with him in the booth palpably strengthened the connection between crowd and DJ. It began with piano, gorgeous piano from Above and Beyond's Small Moments Like These (click the link for super heart-warming film clip) and then, as if Paavo had suddenly taken the floor out from under us we plummeted to the growling, chugging depths of Rank1's Floorlifter and the rave was on. This smooth tango between euphoric breakdown and dirty bass line is what makes most trance sets brilliant and Above and Beyond had the choreography perfected last night.

All the beautiful sing-a-long moments that the main room inhabitants were gagging for they were given: Matt Darey's See The Sun, Above and Beyond's Black Room Boy and an emotional rendition of Sun and Moon towards close, soundtracking the A&B tradition of plucking a fan from the crowd to restart the music for the final chorus. Last night's lucky punter was about as excited as I've seen anything, ever, squeezing Paavo to the point of juicing when she arrived in the booth. The benevolent artist responded in kind and was so buzzing by the end of the set that, whilst reaching over to grasp the hands of the foremost fans, he decided to roll right over into the crowd for a spell, proving once again that Above and Beyond are of the people, for the people and pretty relaxed about groping.

It was a hard act to follow and Jordan Suckley's answer was to come out hammering – a surprising change in energy which sent a friendly cattle prod through the dance floor. After shaking us out of our A&B reverie, Suckley returned to big room classic territory with tracks like Substate's Horizon and Armin Van Buuren's Shivers, making sure every song was a big one whilst he was on deck duty. Over in the terrace there was a different kind of beast raging, its roar more of the raucous and rhythmic electro persuasion than the melodic love-fest of the trance den next door. Steve Angello was making a long-awaited appearance on the Terrace, and doing it with power. He was sending the dance floor hits out to the room in droves, with all numbers – Justice We Are Your Friends, Ingrosso and Alesso's Calling, SHM and Knife Party's Antidote – wrapped in an aggressive and energetic electro remix packaging. People were cheering, people were thrashing, it was the Cream Terrace as we know it best.

All up - a highly entertaining clubbing expedition, which peaked at Above and Beyond. Between the euphoric breakdowns, belted melodies (Paavo singing louder than anyone) inspirational messages and outstretched hands you'd be made of stone not to get a bit emotional. We spend so much time keeping it together in our lives, where better than Ibiza to let that all go?

Words by Jordan Smith, Photography by James Chapman.

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