Champagne, Sia and "Wonderwall": One Wild Night with David Guetta
Photo credit: Kish Lal


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Champagne, Sia and "Wonderwall": One Wild Night with David Guetta

A report from the French superstar's brief, but spectacular, Australian visit.

I've been lingering on the outskirts of the fluoro phenomena known as EDM for a while now, playing catch-up with Calvin Harris torrents and listening to Galantis on repeat at home. But there comes a time when a harmless EDM curiosity bubbles over into "I need to see David Guetta" territory.

You simply do not go see David Guetta unprepared. Two weeks leading up to the night, I had already picked out my outfit, bar some sunglasses I was waiting for in the mail (purchased with the full intention of wearing them inside) and had downloaded all the bangers I was hoping to hear. Thinking I was going to be hard pressed to find a willing friend, acquaintance or even a Tinder date to come with me, I was pretty impressed when I mentioned casually in conversation that I had tickets and they were jumped on immediately. It was a very good sign of things to come.


After an overpriced Long Island Iced Tea at Euro Bier Cafe and a bottle of wine brought along exclusively to drink in the Uber on the way there, we were at Hisense Arena. I was barely able to stand. But I was ready.

.— MUMM (@GHMUMM)November 1, 2015

"Sabrage must be done in a safe area"

I was in a completely different world. I come from a scene where people pay $45 to see an underground German selector, who is going to DJ for six hours in a club that doesn't have lights in the bathrooms – which doesn't matter because everyone who is at the club will spend most of their night outside smoking anyway. This was different. Suitably extravagant event sponsor Mumm Champagne were there to take care of everyone for the night. And by take care, I mean guetting everyone drunk enough to make the task of figuring out whether Dave was really DJing or not a difficult one. The foyer was filled with giant inflatable champagne bottles, comically oversized real champagne bottles, and enough confetti to drown a small island. On our way inside, we were all handed thick, hi-tech bracelets with Mumm branding – which resembled, from what I've seen in movies, brain-controlling devices. My brain was ready. We rushed through the Mumm silliness as Guetta was just guetting started. Any bangers missed were bangers we could not get back.

To say I was stunned at the sheer immensity of the crowd would be a gross understatement. I saw my people and I went for it, flinging my bag at some of my more sensible friends who remained in their seats while I pushed my way onto the dancefloor. Lasers, lights, and screens flashing David Guetta's grinning face looking out towards thousands of EDM fans. No one was there just for the love of music, they were there for the 300 pyro hits on and off stage, they were there to get effed and they were there to celebrate the long weekend with a bang.

Guetta came to conquer by doing what he does best – playing bangers. From "Titanium" to "Love Takes Over", hit after hit, he was relentless. He hollered inspiring words over the crowd, getting his "sexy girls and party boys" to shuffle their feet to the euphoric and uncomfortably generic hits he had set out for us. There were moments where I was rapping along to "Hey Mama" and then there were moments of "what the fuck am I doing here?" But as soon as doubt crept in, Guetta was sure to drop another Sia collab and distract me from my reservations. Only days before he landed in Melbourne, Guetta released a new track featuring Sia (seriously what is the deal with the constant Sia collaborations, I'm getting suspicious) and Fetty Wap. And when he dropped that freshly rinsed beat, the crowd went, well, mild. No one seemed to care about it too much to be honest. The crowd were hungry for the monster hits. Like a true veteran, without flinching, Guetta made the boldest move I have ever witnessed a DJ make: he played "Wonderwall".

It wasn't unfamiliar to be confronted with a large, drunk crowd singing along to "Wonderwall", it happens to me at least three times per week while walking down Swanston Street, but it was still unnervingly hilarious. And it was only one of the few times during the night that David sidestepped away from his own discography (the other time being much less traumatising, when he played Calvin Harris's "How Deep Is Your Love".) There were pitfalls in his set, especially his constant urge to mix out of tracks three seconds into a drop. We didn't get to hear enough of "I Got A Feeling", but when he played "Without You", the room filled up with a distinct feeling of joy – undoubtedly one of the biggest moments of the night. With one simple "Put your hands up Melbourne!" our bulky white wristbands glowed fervently above our heads, a sea of fist bumps that changed from red to blue on David's command. It was beautiful, like a dystopian future where humans take commands in the form of trap heavy, commercial dance music with a long-haired Frenchman as our leader. The crowd was hypnotised. As I looked around and danced with people who I otherwise would never be in the same room as, I felt really happy. I was happy to be surrounded by people who were having a genuinely sick one, listening to music they unashamedly loved, with one EDM bro even giving my friend lease to his shoulders as she sat up there and swayed above the crowd to what sounded like another Sia collaboration (how many are there?).

Like any superstar performance, the night would not have been complete without a customary ending of the set, followed by a walk off only to be shocked and surprised by a pre-planned encore. When that preplanned encore is "Sexy Bitch" though, you've just got to raise your hands in the air and dance like no one from the Melbourne club scene is watching. It was a truly fucked up, side splitting conclusion to one of the silliest nights I've had this year. I was dressed in all orange, still wearing sunglasses, my feet aching from wearing Nike heels to impress possible new friends. Thanks to Mumm I was well sloshed and partook in a series of photos which firstly, I don't remember, and secondly, summed up the night perfectly – getting loaded on champagne was the David Guetta experience I needed. I have become EDM.