Reviewed: Sasha & John Digweed at Free Your Mind
The last time Sasha & Digweed played at the Warehouse Elementenstraat in Amsterdam, it was a mini classic. As such, it’s to nobody’s surprise that organisers, Free Your Mind, invited them back to do it all over again this February.
These legendary pair have been playing back to back for as long as we can remember. The veterans may have been around for a long time but their adaptability to new sounds and releases is commendable. Despite having had a large hiatus and embarking on their own solo careers for many years, it felt like the good old days in Amsterdam at the weekend – pure nostalgia.
Both Sasha & John Digweed have been in incredible form of late, not least at Resistance in Ibiza, where sold-out crowds raved about what they saw each week over the last few summers. On Saturday they were back in the Dam, in this raw, stripped back venue. It’s worlds away from the plush venues they played at during the summer months likes Resistance, where style and glamour was the trend of the day. Instead, this was a back-to-basics warehouse, it had sweat dripping for the beams, lights and lasers shooting about the place and dark little corners with a punchy sound system.
We couldn’t help but get lost into the visuals behind the DJ booth; this, coupled with a classic mastery of Digweed developing one of his long, drawn out mixes was a joy to behold. Sasha complimented this by bringing out heavenly keys and progressive chordal displays. Between the pair they truly had all bases covered and opted to take us on a spellbinding trip through all facets of the technosphere – cuts from the likes of Johannes Volk’s ‘Nevergreen’, Rex The Dog’s Remix of ‘Condor’ by Kiwi and jams from Adam Port, Ry & Frank Weidermann and an off-kilter banger from Italobrothers brought a certain intensity to the party.
People from all over the world were gathered here and the crowd was a proper mix of old and new party revellers. It was really great to see them all come together as one and make for a brilliant atmosphere that saw people dig the big tunes but also get down to some of the older material the duo unleashed. Brian Cid’s ‘Ascenso’ secures one of the biggest reactions from the crowd, as did some of the bits forthcoming on Sasha’s 100th release on his own Last Night on Earth label.
Shouts should also go to Colyn and ADIN who did an almighty job of warming up the crowd before the main draw, but this night was always going to be about Sasha & Digweed, and so it proved. They might not be the new names in the game anymore, but this pair still know how to work a party vibe into a packed-out dancefloor.