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Review: Cream at Amnesia, 3rd September

The crème de la crème of trance music at Cream Ibiza.

Being late in Ibiza is practically a way of life, "todo tranquilo" or "mañana mañana" as the sayings go, but running late for John O´Callaghan, one of the headliners of Cream Ibiza together with Paul Van Dyk, Danny Howard and Tchami, was simply not an option. So gathering my wits around me I made like an arrow and headed straight to the main room of Amnesia to be engulfed by the warm enfolds of the Irish talent John O´Callaghan. No stranger to the Cream brand, having already played four dates this season, this was his last Cream for Ibiza 2015 until the grand finale on September 17th – and he wasn´t shy to show off his experience as he mesmerized the crowd with his slick track selection and steady thrum of synthy melodic beats.

Next door Danny Howard was treating us to a slightly more commercial serving of music with some definite UK grime and garage influence, even playing a rendition of UK´s notorious rapper Dizzie Rascal – Bonkers. Danny Howard´s success story is unrivaled by many after shooting to DJ stardom after winning a Radio 1 talent search back in 2011. Although the terrace wasn´t packed to the brim like your Cocoons and Music Ons, the energy level of the people on the dance floor was no less, with people not being afraid to get down low and dirty, each popping out their signature moves as the music blasted us away. I started to notice steadily more housey vibes coming my way and recognized that Tchami had taken over the decks, not shy to throw in some of his own remixes such as Jack U ft Kiesza´s Take You There, to which everyone bounced along merrily.

Although newcomer Tchami was killing it, I couldn't afford to miss out on the main man of the night Paul Van Dyk who had the main room crowd swept up in the palm of his hand before the first track even played. Wolf whistles and yelps of ecstasy as he rose to the stage and showed us what trance music at Cream is all about. Taking us on a rollercoaster ride through uplifting highs to dark thunderous crashes everyone was armed and ready to battle it out on the dance floor. You could easily tell when it was one of Paul's own productions hitting the speakers as the crowd really got involved like when he played the vocal laden Only In a Dream - a collaboration of his between Jessus and Adham Ashraf ft Tricia amongst some other older classics.

The room was enthralled, with the lights down low and the electric green laser beams sweeping over the dance floor you could feel the euphoria running through everyone´s body as they were bumping and grinding to the builds and drops of Paul Van Dyk. Looking around at all the sweaty bodies you almost felt like you were at an old school warehouse rave, only with a slightly more uplifting soundtrack. Cream has really got a character of its own backed by its years of history and loyal following. Trance might not be the dominant sound on the island right now, but Amnesia's main room post 5am told a different story. Paul Van Dyk was followed by a back-to-back session between Brian Kearney and Jordan Suckley, who eschewed the EDM influence that has crept into big room trance for old school heavenly breakdowns and soaring, layered synth patterns as in Alex MORPH & Heatbeat's Amistad.

Craig Connelly took over finally to bring the close of the morning in with some drama. It was all arms in the air epic moments, with zero mainstage affectation and all of the heart the trance genre is known for. Some of Connelly's own productions, like History, were the finest moments, his beaming smile almost a match for the explosion of grins on the floor below him (Connelly has since described the morning as "up there with one of the best gigs ever"). Holding an entire room of sweaty, eager fans in the palm of his hand, Connelly finally brought it home with a piercing acapella from La Roux, In For The Kill, which dropped into the salient riff from Marcel Woods' classic, Advanced. Pffffffffft, utter mayhem. The bouncers literally pushed us out the door.

WORDS | Maya Dupont PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman

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