Afrojack and Hardwell woo crowds at Abu Dhabi’s Creamfields

A total of 12 acts played over eight hours and two stages, but the two headlining DJs were the best acts of the evening.
Creamfields, a music festival at Du Arena. Evelyn Lau / The National
Creamfields, a music festival at Du Arena. Evelyn Lau / The National

A packed crowd, two stages, music for eight hours and 12 acts, including the world’s top DJ – festival goers at this year’s Creamfields not only had their pick of what they wanted to listen to, but sure seemed to have fun while doing so.

The festival featured a main stage and a house stage. The latter hosted Arcade 82, Mr Mr, Smoking Groove, Ronin & Nesta, Genie & Stacktraxx, Adam Beyer and Marco Carola, while the main stage had Omar Basaad, Asphyxia & Angelo, Avid Bold, Madjam and headliners Afrojack and Hardwell. Despite the large number of DJs, the transition between acts was seamless, without long lulls in between.

Showing why he was voted the top DJ by DJ Mag for the second year in a row, headliner Hardwell put on an impressive show. The 26-year-old Dutchman delivered a set list that lasted an hour and a half to a packed crowd.

Right on cue at 1.30am, he took the stage. Surrounded by streamers, fog, flashing lights and lasers, he opened with a pulsing track that really got the audience jumping. Much of the set featured his hits, such as Apollo, Young Again and Dare You, and remixes of popular tracks such as Ariana Grande’s Break Free, Clean Bandit’s Rather Be, Alesso’s Heroes, Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness and his remix of Coldplay’s A Sky Full of Stars. He even threw in some new tracks from his next album #UnitedWeAre, which is out next month.

Towards the end of his set, he showed his love by standing on the turntables and raising a UAE flag to the cheers of the already pumped-up crowd. The final song of the night was arguably his biggest hit, 2012’s Spaceman, which left fans chanting his name.

Fellow countryman Afrojack put on an equally impressive show that gave Hardwell a run for his money. Opening and closing his set with his hit song Ten Feet Tall and carrying the energy throughout, festivalgoers never slowed, matching that energy. At one point, the 27-year-old took a break to say: “You guys are jumping so hard the CD players are dying over here.”

It wasn’t hard to see why – it could be argued that his was the best set of the evening.

The House stage was smaller but the energy level was just as high. More on the electro-house side of things with a more low-key vibe, headliner Marco Carola had a good-sized crowd enjoying his set, which was the perfect way to end a spectacular night.

Published: December 13, 2014 04:00 AM


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