As an innovator of the Future Bass genre, Flume sits in a pocket of the EDM scene where his most significant competition is himself.
Image: Jordan Munns.
It took all of ten seconds of the introduction to Holding On to blast through the speakers before an enthusiastic fan yelled “this is fucking sick already!”. Indeed it was, as Australia’s prince of EDM Harley Streten, aka. Flume, kicked off the Sydney performance of his Palaces Tour.
Housed in Sydney Olympic Park's The Dome, the environment induced a festival energy but with a warehouse twist, with the spirit of the crowd filling every corner of the venue. Supported by the likes of Willo, Toro Y Moi and Channel Tres, Flume knows how to curate an event, with all of the talented artists showcased complimenting each others styles and getting the crowd ready for the headline act.
The stage was set similarly to Flume’s 2022 Coachella performance with a huge riser that allowed everyone in the space to catch a glimpse of the producer, who donned his signature leather bike outfit. A simple but effective layout, the set was dynamic with moving archways that carried light and projections, visually invoking everything you wanted it to be. Of course we were treated to lasers and strobes, but also images ranging from lovers to bin chickens, knuckle dusters and a melting red eyed rat - a sleep paralysis demon if I ever did see one. A large portion of the imagery showcased colourful digital kinetic art, which is of course attributed to the collaboration between Flume and Jonathan Zawada, a style in which is now synonymous with Flumes brand since we first saw it on the album cover of his 2016 album Skin.
Flume is never shy to bring out some special guests, and for this leg of the tour we were blessed by the amazing voices of Kucka and MAY-A, who brought amazing energy to the stage and truly great live vocals across multiple tracks such as Smoke & Retribution and Never Be Like You.
I got the vibe that like myself, a lot of the audience present had been with Flume for the long haul. His songs from prior albums definitely seemed to get more engagement from the crowd, so when the middle of his set became heavier in new content it did feel like the momentum had changed. His ARIA nominated song Say Nothing served as a highlight within his new material, and accompanied by MAYA, the single definitely proved it’s worth across the crowd.
In what was probably one of my favourite encores of all time, Flume surprised his audience with his Like A Version cover of Bag Raiders Shooting Stars - a cover that had only been released by Triple J a few hours prior. Bringing the song into a more bouncy hard style beat context completely changed the energy in the room, with the dynamic track causing the crowd to erupt. Seeing Flume play the saxophone whilst ChestBrah muzzed and posed beside him was not on my bingo card for 2022, but goodness am I glad to of bared witness.
Aside from being a very talented person, Flume is one of the most humble people I’ve seen on a stage. He continuously made it clear to his audience how grateful he was to be playing in his hometown of Sydney again, saying to the crowd “I have no words, I’m so fucking happy”. You could feel that happiness as he played. as one man on a stage for 90 minutes, Flume held the audience in the palm of his hand, extending the lead up to the drop of You and Me for so long that the audience could of collectively passed out from holding its breath in anticipation. You could feel the exhale through the crowd as the drop hit and the masses started swaying with elation, seemingly as happy to be there as Flume was.
As an innovator of the Future Bass genre, Flume sits in a pocket of the EDM scene where his most significant competition is himself. He is a showman of great regard and will always be a stand out live Australian act, but 2016 Flume is very hard to beat.
FLUME PALACES AUSTRALIAN TOUR
November 24 - John Cain Arena - Melbourne, AUS
November 26 - Exhibition Park for Spilt Milk Festival - Canberra, AUS | SOLD OUT
November 30 - Adelaide Entertainment Centre - Adelaide, AUS
December 2 - Regatta Grounds - Hobart, AUS
December 3 - Victoria Park for Spilt Milk Festival - Ballarat, AUS | SOLD OUT
December 4 - Doug Jennings Park for Spilt Milk Festival - Gold Coast, AUS | SOLD OUT
Written by Jazmin Pezzano