On Thursday night I joined the seething masses of Melbourne’s techno scene in the concrete bowels of Etihad Stadium. DJ Koze was headlining what promised to be face-meltingly techno-filled evening. The Novel guys had once again succeeded in whipping the Melbourne crowds into a state of frenzy, selling out their first venture into this exclusive venue without breaking a sweat.
More than a few silent thankyous were offered up by glassy-eyed patrons as we streamed passed the sniffer dogs; nothing like proactive communication to ensure your fun doesn’t get ruined on the night. Passing swiftly through bag check, I found myself in a sprawling concrete rave cave that felt like the perfect union between Dark Mofo & Berlin. Throbbing music, writhing bodies, a heavy dose of red lights and a haze of cigarette smoke thick enough to leave your eyes watering.
After tripping over more than one-speed bump (they slow down more than just cars it would seem), our first move was to find the rest of our crew at front left. Despite initially setting out with confidence, we quickly realised – where the f%^k was it? I don’t think I’ve ever been to a gig where I literally never saw the stage, not to mention finding front left, but it appears there is always a first time for everything.
Koze, well what I can say. A generic, progressive, techno set gets a baseline score from me at best. We got our money’s worth of Pick Up, but not until the final five minutes. The crowd responded accordingly with tweakers clambering on mates shoulders left right & centre. It made me wonder – with a career as illustrious as Koze’s, how is it possible to charge through an entire two-hour set and leave the crowd in rapture only once?
We GTFO before Charlotte had even taken to the stage. What had begun as a pleasantly cool evening that still required a jacket even inside had disintegrated to something more akin to Satan’s fiery pit of Hell with more than one guy looking he had just experienced underwater emersion fully clothed. I’ve only got so much tolerance for techno, and significantly less for overly sweaty men.
In summary, I can say with confidence that a new generation of Melbourne ravers will come of age in that carpark. Excessive sweatiness and sub-optimal toilets notwithstanding, making use of that sprawling sub-urban concrete terrain was nothing short of genius. Koze I could take or leave, but I guess he wasn’t there to please everyone. The winners on the night? Arguably Novel, who have once again set themselves at the forefront of any musical experience Melbourne has to offer. Cheers lads.
Written By: Jericho Cleary