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“Music doesn’t get played in nice venues like this”

Built between 1841 and 1854 in neoclassical style by the esteemed Harvey Lonsdale and Sir Charles Cockerell, St. George’s Hall boasts ornate concert halls and law courts. The building, designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building is one of the most stunning locations you could hope for. As one of the most iconic and important buildings in Liverpool, I doubt the architects could have foreseen what took place last Saturday, 22 June 2013. Freeze, known for its unlikely venues, elite line-ups, and, most importantly, charitable motivations, took up residence in St. George’s Hall for an unforgettable evening with Luciano & Friends, celebrating 10 years of Cadenza Music. Drinks flowed from the bars, in the foyer and main hall, both of which seemed to be struggling to handle the demands. The foyer had a nice chillout section with sofas and tables. The main hall hosted, in sequence, Jemmy, Argy, and Luciano. The concert room upstairs hosted Skyland Mountain, Jozef K, and Andrea Oliva, which unfortunately never seemed to fill up with quite enough dancers. I’m not sure whether people just didn’t know about it or whether the main room was just too good to pass up if even for a moment. Following Luciano’s finale at 01:00, the revellers poured up the street to the O2 Academy for an encore until 06:00 with Lee Rands, Reboot, Andrea Oliva, Adele Moss, and Ernesto Ferreyra. It’s important to know that the proceeds of the event have gone to Claire House Children’s Hospice. To raise even more funds and awareness for the worthy cause, top hats and moustaches could be purchased upon entry.

Now with a night that is so accustomed to the unusual in terms of venue (i.e. the Williamson Tunnels), acoustics are an obvious obstacle, but one the Freeze team takes as a challenge. Well, they pulled it off with flying colours. The sound in both the main and concert hall was one of the most crisp and wholesome set-ups I’ve heard yet. Liverpool’s own, Jemmy led the team, playing a largely chilled and welcoming set as the attendees rushed to make it in before 20:00. He did well in loosening the crowd up. Even though the sun was still shining through the stained glass windows above, it was of no concern to the top hats. Greek, Berlin-based Argy followed suit, casually flipping through his record collection, doling out happy and persevering music.

The real highlight of the night came during the changeover between Argy and Luciano. It was 22:00. The lights fell to black as hundreds of phones rose to face the back wall, whish was all that was illuminated and there we saw a man with a tophat. He was sat on a chair, facing the third largest organ in the UK. He played out the amazing intro to Luciano’s ‘Rise of Angel’, charming everyone in admiration. Gobsmacked. This was followed by a heavenly cannon of confetti over the crowd. It truly felt like Ibiza. For a moment, I felt like I was on holiday, like there’s no way I could have been in the city where I live. Not Liverpool. He brought an element of 90s house with that characteristic glassy, blaring overtone, paired with soulful vocals. Rolling, riveting drums kept the step in motion. It was a special treat to hear his remix of Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’. Which in this writers opinion is much better than the original. He really picked up the pace towards midnight and thereafter whilst the cannon sent out a few more sporadic volleys of white paper to keep moods high. The whole event really escaped reality. It was a rave inside a building that architecturally put Liverpool on the map, but now it was being done all over again in a different way entirely. The strangest part about it was the statues bordering the hall. They just stood there, stoic, whilst all this went on. Lights and lasers fell upon their faces and you’d just have to wonder what they’d think about all that was going on before them. Argy, himself, told us he’d never played at something like this before. Though the show sold out days in advance, the ticket numbers were capped at a reasonable level under the venue’s actual capacity. There was always enough room for a good dance from the front of the hall to the back. And if one song could emulate the kinds of shapes being thrown around in there, Luciano’s send-off drop of Celeda’s dignified ‘Music Is The Answer’, the Danny Tenaglia remix, brought the best out in people. Its rattling claps and tribal, motivating drums sent the crowd into a frenzy.

During Luciano’s finale, the Freeze team jumped up on stage for a well warranted dance with the man of the hour. It was a treat to see a team so proud of themselves. The work they do will be known in all corners of the electronic globe. Not only were patrons blown away; so too were the DJs and media alike. Not forgetting, the assistance it’ll bring to Claire House Children’s Hospice is incredible. As Luciano rushed off to the next destination of his global tour, Andrea Oliva jumped up on the stage to finish off the venue. Soon, the chandeliers were turned back on and the halls were emptied. All that was left were bottles, cups, confetti, and no-longer-sticky moustaches. It was onto the O2 Academy, where the party carried on until 06:00 in the morning. Reboot’s ‘In The Sky’ was a highlight of the afterparty, but the venue detracted a bit from memories just forged in St. George’s. It was dark, steamy, and little bit menacing compared to the innocence and ecstasy of the atmosphere. Regardless, the Freeze team absolutely outdid themselves. Liverpool is ever advancing in the electronic spotlight and I know they made plenty people even prouder to live in such a top city.

Review courtesy of Kyle Robertson – Data Transmission