In true Melbourne rave style, 2 Friday night giants Hard Kandy and 3D Nightclub put on what proved to be another killer high energy Hard Dance party. Hard Kandy have always been one of my favorite event organisers. Now in their 13th year Hard Kandy shows that it's still up to speed with what ravers want.
It's not all that often I get to go back down to Melbourne — the city that originally got me into the rave scene — but back in March I was lucky enough to be there for Hard Kandy & 3D Present Kidd Kaos and man was I in for a treat.
Although I've been to a lot of Hard Kandy events in the past, I wasn't expecting an all out night, but man was I wrong. What I thought was going to be just another Friday night, turned out to be easily one of the best raves I have ever attended!
After a quick pat down and I was in. It had been a few years since the last time I went to an event hosted at 3D Nightclub, so I had a quick run around to re-familiarize myself with the venue. There are 3 separate levels, each showcasing different music genres. The top floor was Psytrance & Chiptunes, middle was Commercial House and the bottom level was Hard Dance & Hard Trance.
Although the Psytrance floor at the top of the club had much fewer people compared to the others, I was still surprised it had a good amount of effort put into the décor and artists. It was kind of little a mini indoor doof. I just wish there was more people up there, because the quality was surprisingly high.
Although not to my tastes, the middle Commercial House level was full most of the night and had a fun vibe. It would have been cool to have Hardstyle here to keep a consistent rave vibe throughout the entire venue, but I can see how having it this way would have a 'little something' for everyone.
Greatest thing about the middle floor is the chill out area; a large room with heaps of comfortable lounge chairs, blasting aircon and movies projected on a big screen. I spent a fair bit of time in here gazing up at the little lights on the roof that looked like a galaxy of stars. A great room to have a conversation as the music isn't too loud and it happens to be where I met some awesome friendly Melbourne locals.
Which now brings us to the main room. The first thing I noticed was the overpowering smell of talcum powder. I had forgotten how the Melbourne ravers like to pour talcum powder onto the ground to help them slide smoother when they shuffle. A welcome addition for when I wanted to shuffle, but I almost axed myself a few times when I was attempting to stomp (Brisbane and Perth kids, you know what I'm talking about!).
Plenty of cool Hard Kandy décor, but it blocked the airflow from the fans.
The event was packed for most of the night and you would have been lucky to find enough room to have a proper dance, let alone bust out some big moves like spins without accidentally bumping into someone. Fortunately most of the ravers in the club were nice and accepted my apologies for bumping into them.
The main room started with mellow Hard Trance from a bunch of local acts including the well-known Soul-T. Still enough room to walk around, but the music not yet hard enough to really dance to. But as soon as the main act, Kidd Kaos, came on it all changed! The room started to reach capacity and the temperature started rising. Kidd was pumping out some solid tunes with plenty of crowd pleasers and even a bunch of tracks I'd never heard before.
Feeling pretty content I thought to myself, "this must be the peak of the night and things wouldn't get much better".. Wrong! Josh Lang took control of the decks and from the first two tracks I knew this was going to be a set I wanted to be there for. I'd never seen Josh Lang perform live as I had missed his set at Defqon.1 2011. I didn't know what to expect. Track after track, I was moving my body - each one was a proper and pumping Hard Dance tune. To my surprise there wasn't a single track in his entire set I couldn't bust out to.
By this time, the amount of people dancing so hard had turned the room into a sauna. I don't think there was a single person who wasn't literally dripping with sweat. The temperature was so extreme I would say this was the hottest rave I've ever been too, and I've been to some pretty crazy raves with no air con (I'm looking at you Black stage Defqon.1 2011!). Luckily the chill out room was not too far away when you needed to cool off.
Surely there's no way they could top that last set... Wrong again! Scott Alert vs St. Luke kept the high energy Hard Dance flowing right through to the end of the night with absolute belters and plenty of Hard Dance anthems. Couldn't get enough of this set. Massive respect out to Josh Lang, Scott Alert and St. Luke, these guys are now right up top of my favourite DJ's list!
It's been a long time since the last event, where the music was so good that I could dance for the whole night. Other than the lack of people on the top floor and the extreme temperature in the main room it was easily the best small rave I've been to the last few years.