The acclaimed producer united over 5,000 people who danced the night away and formed an undisputed bond through their euphoric shared experience.
Image: Jordan Munns.
Chances are that in the past week or so you’ve heard the name Fred again.., again…. and again. Additionally, the odds are that you currently sit in one of two categories, those being either; a fan or confused.
For those of you who sit in Category 2, maybe the name Fred again.. doesn’t ring any bells, maybe his full name Frederick John Philip Gibson doesn’t either. But if you’ve ever listened to commercial radio you’d be familiar with songs he’s written or produced. Fred has credits on hit tracks like Jax Jones’ Breathe, Clean Bandit and Demi Lovato’s Solo, George Ezra’s Shotgun and the entirety of Ed Sheeran’s album, No.6 Collaborations Project, just to name a small few.
Potentially in the coming weeks many of you Category 2’ers will forget the name Fred again.. entirely, but I can guarantee that those in Category 1 - the fans who ran around cities searching for whale logos and towels, hunted down secret show information deep in reddit threads, and of course the lucky few thousands who got to see Fred again.. live, will be holding on to the memories of the past week for years.
I was one of the fortunate 5,500 people who attended the “Fred again..’s Secret Warehouse Show” at the Hordern Pavilion. From the moment I entered the Moore Park grounds, the excitement in the air was palpable. With no set times announced the audience filtered in early and steadily, on track to experience a night full of EDM excellence. The evening was kicked off by the incredible Ayebatonye, delivering an enchanting set to warm the crowd up as the packed inside the Hordern. Western Australia’s talented HAAi followed with her own smooth set, with the man himself joining her on stage for a B2B before carrying on to do his hotly-anticipated solo set.
Image: Jordan Munns.
This particular format felt less like a Fred again.. side show, and more like a rave or boiler room event where the adored producer was the headliner. The stage saw the DJ's surrounded by happy, sweaty gig-goers, giving it their absolute all. Their energy and the interaction from each artist set an incredible baseline for the rest of the crowd to feed off. This crowd wasn’t just peckish, this crowd was HUNGRY. Having fought to be in that room in one way or another, you could feel the yearning of the absolutely packed venue. They demanded to be fed by Fred’s iconic drum machine bass lines and infectious dance beats, and personally I left that room feeling exceptionally full.
It was a huge night for the lighting techs who truly outdid themselves, presenting a lighting rig uncommon for the venue that ran along the ceiling above the crowd, as well as the full width of the back stage wall. When I first saw them in action (a grand full strobe) early in the evening, I hoped I hadn’t dropped my pre-emptive Nurofen Zavance too early, but any potential headache I could have gotten was soon cleansed out of existence by sweat and pure elation.
As Fred launched into his freshly released song Rumble, a collaboration with Flowdan and Sonny “Skrillex” Moore, vibrations started at my scalp and journeyed through my body. If it was possible for my entire nervous system to be tickled from the inside, that cascading bass progression did it. As his set continued the audience’s energy levels just kept increasing, happy dancing to songs like Danielle (Smile on my face) and going absolutely feral to super tracks like Jungle. He even graced us with a Britney moment, incorporating the pop-princesses manifesto Piece Of Me into his simmering set.
Later in the evening, Fred made sure to let the crowd breathe and take in the moment as he played Donna Lewis’ I Love You Always Forever, also being sure to voice his utmost gratitude to his Australian fans at this time. The final moments of the night included belting the lyrics to Billie (Loving Arms) before the producer assured us he would be returning to our shores very soon, and I don’t have any doubt that this is true. His appearance at Laneway Festival has become one of the most attended sets, and his sideshows and pop-up shows all sold-out in minutes. There’s clearly a demand to experience Fred’s euphoric live show amongst Australian fans.
There’s a camaraderie amongst the crowd at a Fred again.. show, his music united over 5,000 people who came together as a community to dance the night away and form an undisputed bond through a uniquely shared experience. I hope that by this point in the review, those from Category 2 who are still here are considering giving Fred again.. a go. He is a multi-talented artist whose trajectory continues to rocket. Rest assured, if you are lucky enough to score a ticket to experience Fred again.. live, you’ll have a whale of a time.
Image: Jordan Munns.
Words by Jazmin Pezzano.