13 Nov Review: Fatima Yamaha, Arena Club, Berlin
Fatima Yamaha’s explosive live shows at Panorama Bar, Glastonbury and Dekmantel have cemented his reputation as one of Europe’s best dance DJ’s and producers. His headline tour this November has almost sold out across the board, so we had high hopes when we went to see his performance at Berlin’s Arena Club.
Anyone who went to the show will be able to tell you that the venue was a bad, bad choice. Arena is a labyrinthine club, full of industrial machinery. With it’s small dancefloor, pounding sound system and a balcony in which you can overlook revelers, Arena is well-known in Berlin’s club scene as an excellent place to dance along to techno. Unfortunately, a tiny dance floor and two small balconies does not work well for a performer like Fatima Yamaha.
Most people were in a terrible mood as they bustled for space on the tiny floor. As Fatima’s opening tracks pumped through the sound system it became increasingly clear that it wasn’t possible to dance with this many people in the 500 capacity venue.
This was a shame as the producer also known as Bas Bron played a dynamite set. From my safe space upstairs on a sofa I danced sitting down to the upbeat bassline of Love Invaders, Borderless II and Shuppatsu.
Yamaha’s expert mixing wasn’t missed from my perch and the high energy performance was on par to his Glastonbury extravaganza in 2016. By the time What’s a Girl To Do came on towards the end of his set it seemed as though the crowd had forgiven each other and were able to enjoy the DJ’s most well-known track. He is a talented live performer and, despite the grouchiness of the crowd, was able to harness their energy and played a high-octane set which, under any other circumstances, would have been a flop. The highlight was Only of the Universe which Yamaha built up to an epic crescendo, forcing even the grumpiest reveler to their feet.
Fatima Yamaha did not disappoint by any means, but the venue did. Catch him somewhere else on his European tour and you’re guaranteed to see the Dutch DJ at the top of his game.
Words by Alice Austin