Friday September 23
After having studied at UC for what seems like forever, there’s a bit of me that feels a little sad seeing it full of rowdy youths spilling their drinks everywhere; a kind of knee-jerk reaction of “this is my place of learning, pick up that beer can, please!”. However, one can’t deny that the UC Refectory is the perfect place for a show, and All Our Friends at Night was one hell of a show. For the second year of the dance night, the team at Pang! and UC Live! pulled out all stops to ensure that punters wouldn’t leave disappointed. The line-up boasted a whole host of Canberra’s best DJs, as well as superstar party-starters Example, Wolfgang Gartner, MSTRKRFT and Nero.
Arriving at the hotly anticipated event we were greeted with the line to end all lines. Amidst all the grumbles of having to wait in the cold for 20 minutes, was a sense of excitement. If the line is this long, what’s the party like inside?
The party, it turned out, was sweaty, loud and non-stop. Local spin-doctors Peking Duck, Offtapia and Cheese had been working the decks since earlier in the evening, so that by the time Example took to the stage at 10pm, the vodka-swilling, fluro-clad crowd was ready to get crazy. Commanding the audience like the pro he is, Example was all British swagger and beats. Jumping up and down like a hyperactive kid, he ran through an impressive list of tracks to the delight of the screaming, swooning crowd. The clear favourite was 2010’s Kickstarts, while newbies Changed The Way You Kissed Me and Stay Awake were also highlights.
The end of the set resulted in a mass exodus of people trying to get to the toilet or the bar. A short while and many skulled cans of Red Bear later, it was time for American electro DJ/producer, Wolfgang Gartner. Older jams, plus newer tracks from the just released Weekend in America were the perfect soundtrack to bust a move to. Despite not being a massive dance music fan, even I can’t resist a bit of dancefloor action when the music is right, and Wolfgang Gartner’s music was oh-so-right.
Next up was cooler-than-thou duo MSTRKRFT, far better mascots for good ol’ Canada than that Bieber kid. The pair have been mixing the biggest party-starters since 2005, experience that was evident in their tight and frantic set. Decorum well and truly forgotten, the ready-to-burst crowd were now well and truly glued to the dancefloor, moving back and forth like one giant, well-oiled machine. MSTRKRFT played a set full of remixed crowd-pleasers, before ending with their own Heartbreaker and leaving a sweaty, euphoric audience behind.
Nero was scheduled to take the stage at 1.30am. While this time would seem ridiculously late at other gigs, when it comes to dance music it really isn’t out of the norm. Sure enough Nero graced the stage at the intended time, and, despite tiredness setting in, what followed was an hour of back-to-back beats, fist-pumping and bump ‘n’ grind. The atmosphere was so infectious that I dragged myself down from the ivory tower that is the media area to join the action in the thick of it. Nero ended his set explosively, as the place vibrated from the frantic energy he created. Once the lights came on, it was a strange feeling to see the dark, hazy, electro hub replaced by scattered cans, missing shoes and tiny shorts. As I left UC soon after I had to pat myself on the back for staying at a gig until such an ungodly time. It was, as my fist-pumping compatriots would say, fully hectic, bro.