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Two Tribes 2006 Review

Author: Drew Kirby
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Arguably the biggest event on the Australian Calender as far as Electronic Dance Parties goes, Two Tribes was scheduled to take place earlier this year due to the Commonwealth Games. Whether this affected what seem to be a drop in crowd numbers from previous years probably won't be learnt till next year, however with burly winds and strong rainfall for most of Saturday afternoon that could have also played some part. Good for our dams but bad for my hairstyle!

Driving across the Swan St Bridge I could immediately see a flurry of people who looked excited and ready for a big night. Everyone looked as though they were in good spirits, which was pleasing considering the rain we had. At this stage there was still some light drizzle, and a fair bit of mud at the entrance but nothing to detrimental to everyone's swank appearance.

Upon entering the complex and gathering my thoughts, (headband count currently 28) I headed over to the Vodafone Arena to meet up with some friends who had been eagerly awaiting the first time appearance of Marcus Schultz. The joint was rocking, and he was playing, as expected, the big room progressive trance sound that he is accustomed for and which has also proved to be a big launching pad for his career. His crowd interaction and stage presence was terrific as he seems comfortable on a big stage. Playing many of his edits and tracks from his acclaimed Coldharbour label, standouts for me were, Above & Beyond vs. Andy Moor - Air For Life and RR Workshop - Electrolux with Ridgewalkers Featuring El - Find (Accapella).

Taking a short break from the red cordial induced hype in the Vodafone room, I headed over the techno and Global Underground areas, which for some reason had been switched. Only problem was that the decor and visuals that had been designated for that room had not. Often there would be a dj's name advertised on the screen, but there would be two or three people behind the decks playing, and vice versa. Not all that funny I know, but I laughed. Boogs and Kasey Taylor played well. The mixing was tight and the records driving, certainly more so for Kasey, whose return to Melbourne would have been somewhat disappointing as the crowd was well down to what he may have expected.

James Lavelle played some interesting music, Unkle - In a State which was a massive hit in 2004, was well received and saw him close out his set. Too many times however, he had the crowd going with a beautifully crafted breakdown and build-up but could not carry the momentum though the set, and often left me annoyed at the disjointed parts of his set.

Back over to Vodafone arena, and definitely one of the highlights of the event was standing next to Steve May as Armin Va Buuren dropped his bootleg of James Holden - A Break in the Clouds. I gave Steve a hug and told him to go over and give Armin a kiss.*this may not have actually happened, but it was a special moment for the group of us.*

For some, the start of Armin's set was a little to electroey, but once the Pryda - Aftermath bassline kicked in about the 45min mark (arguably tune of the year for 2005) the jam packed stadium was alive and jumping. People were on shoulders, glow sicks were being waved around furiously, and a few compatriot djs looked as though they had just won a gold medal at the Olympics. Armin's set kicked on nicely with big name tunes the whole way through. Train spotting was as easy as a children's crossroad for most with Gabriel and Dresden's - Tracking Treasure Down the final tune for his set.

After Armin finished, I headed back over to the Global Underground room for the end of Tocadisco, with his remixes of Dreams and A Studio a delight to most in the room. Unfortunately though, and as mentioned previously, the biggest disappointment to the event was the lack of support for the other side rooms. Credible names such as Technasia, Max Graham, James Lavelle, Blackstrobe a