Sunday evening in Phuket and all eyes are on Xana Beach club with Attica as it welcomes Paul Oakenfold to the stage on Bang Tao beach. Since launching, Xana with Attica has welcomed some of the finest electronic talent to the stunning beach but tonight sees one of the most influential characters of the last two decades take centre stage. Paul Oakenfold has played in some amazing locations in his career, from the Great Wall Of China to the Hollywood Bowl, not to mention warming the crowd up on stadium tours for Madonna and U2 and tonight, he takes to the Xana with Attica stage with the stunning backdrop of Bang Tao beach as part of his Way Out East Tour.
It has been a changeable week weather wise on Phuket, with most days featuring some periods of hard rain but even the weather gods are looking forward to hearing this influential DJ spin as the sun returns and bakes the beach, in anticipation of a hot one later. The crowd builds early as local DJ James Dougall sets the scene, dropping a cool selection of nu disco and deep house grooves. The dancefloor might not have sprung to life yet but the toes are clearly tapping at the tables and at the bar and people are getting in the mood for the main event. Essentialibiza’s Iain Thomson takes the tempo up slightly before handing over to Singapore based DJ Jon White as the crowd continues to swell and darkness covers the beach. Fireworks explode along the beach and almost right on cue, Paul Oakenfold crosses the dancefloor and climbs the stairs to the booth, which prompts the first cheer of the night from the now packed beach club, keen to see and hear their hero in action.
Minimal lighting joins the stars and the huge video screen behind the DJ booth providing light for the dancers, there is something about partying in the open air that gives this type of party a unique feeling. Oakie takes to the decks and with a flash of the famous smile, starts a musical journey that takes the floor on a trance trip from the depths of the cooler tech beats to some of the biggest anthems of the last decade. Paul Oakenfold has spent his career entertaining large crowds and is completely at ease on the beach as he controls the Xana with Attica floor like a puppet master. Huge breakdowns and filtered sweeps are met with similar applause as the crowd becomes more and more vocal, Oakenfold drops his collaboration with deceased Russian star Viktor Tsoi and the floor erupts once again.
The talented trailblazer is clearly enjoying himself as he wears an ear to ear grin while he drops some of the finest trance on the huge crowd and the feeling is mutual as they beam back at him, arms in the air, celebrating every new tune, breakdown and subsequent build up, saving the biggest cheer for the last as his final tune comes to an end and he accepts the adulation from the packed dancefloor below the elevated beach booth. It has been a busy few days for Oakenfold, as the Way Out East Tour gets off to a flier but the reaction from the crowd in a setting like Xana Beach club with Attica is what makes it all worthwhile. For the popular DJ, there’s a day off to follow before the Way Out East tour heads to China, for Xana with Attica it’s business as usual as one of the most stunning resorts on the island continues to make a huge impression in its debut year!
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