Torrential rain and fields of knee-deep mud did nothing to dampen the spirits of the crowd at Future Music Festival on Saturday. By early afternoon Doomben Racecourse was a veritable mudbath but somehow it just made the crowd want to party that much harder.
Despite a late start, Gypsy & The Cat performed their encore set to a packed and rowdy audience. After their seemingly endless sound-check, the lads were urged to the stage by the restless crowd chanting, “play some f*****g music!” en masse.
Over at the main stage, London four-piece Rudimental braved the elements to deliver a high-energy set which featured a guest appearance from sultry British songstress Ella Eyre for ‘Waiting All Night’.
In the all but washed out Warriors Dance Arena, Canadian dubstep duo Zeds Dead (aka DC and Hooks) kept the soaked and muddy crowd warm with an incredible heart-thumping set.
As the grey and gloomy day became a dark and stormy night, the glowsticks were out in force for French producer Madeon, who gave an amazing electronic performance accompanied by a truly impressive lightshow. The young producer’s stage presence was messianic as he mixed up his original beats with party classics, such as Daft Punk’s ‘Around The World’.
Everybody’s favourite rascal, English MC Dizzee Rascal, hit the main stage mid-downpour proudly exclaiming, ‘My name’s Dizzee f*****g Rascal, now make some f*****g noise!” The crowd happily obeyed while Dizzee had them dancing and singing along to a string of his hits, as well as introducing brand new material from his forthcoming record.
As if moved by some occult hand, the rain finally eased for ‘90s indie darlings, The Stone Roses, who by far gave one of the best performances of the day. Opening with guaranteed crowd-pleaser ‘I Wanna Be Adored’, the Roses played favourites from their extensive back-catalogue, broken up by good ol’ fashioned psychedelic jam sessions complete with kaleidoscopic visuals.
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For those who arrived early, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike entertained the crowd with a thumping dance mash-up. Their use of samples ranged from the inspired (Depeche Mode, ‘Tetris’ theme) to the somewhat alarming (Linkin Park), but their slick beats were enough to get an already ecstatic audience stomping up and down on the muddy grass.
Ellie Goulding had just enough time for a small assortment of lovely piano ballads and dance-infused tracks (including the catchy Calvin Harris-produced ‘I Need Your Love’) before worsening rain made her end the set prematurely (BOO!). By the time Fun. took to the stage, icy winds were piercing everyone’s flesh and the torrential downpour was quickly turning Doomben Racecourse into a dirty big swamp. Luckily the New York indie-pop band managed to brighten things up a little with their sprightly tracks.
Temper Trap frontman Dougy Mandagi said a special “fuck you” to the rain as the band commenced a set full of fan favourites like ‘Love Lost’, ‘Fader’ and ‘Drum Song’. Although the downpour slightly diluted their music’s emotional intimacy, their performances were strong, and it was hard not to be blown away by the powerful finale: ‘Sweet Disposition’.
Israeli dubstep wiz Borgore played a decent bunch of tunes including his hit ‘Decisions’. It was a solid set, and although a few more originals would have improved it, the mash-ups of artists like Knife Party went down a treat.
Then came The Prodigy. Featuring a live guitarist and drummer, the UK legends opened with ‘Voodoo People’ as vocalists/ dancers Keith Flint and Maxim worked the crowd. In a set that would have been a nostalgia trip for many, hits like ‘Breathe’, ‘Firestarter’, and ‘Invaders Must Die’ were performed with a crazed, manic energy. After an audience participation-filled rendition of ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ it looked like the show was over, until the guys came back onstage for a triple encore of ‘Take Me To The Hospital,’ Their Law’ and ‘Outer Space’. After all these years, this group have lost none of their menacing brilliance.