When it comes to the world of electronic artists, few know how to put on a show as well as Flume. When I got word that I was going to cover this event, I was giddy with excitement, knowing that I would get to document and attend an event for an artist whose music means so much to me.
You only have to see Flume one time before you realize why he headlines music festivals and sells out shows all around the world. His live shows go so far beyond just the music being played, fully encompassing the full experience with the lights, the visuals, the sound system, and Flume’s own theatrics all being used to their full potential, allowing him to make the most out of any venue he plays in. If you’ve ever seen other world-class, live electronic artists like Disclosure or Porter Robinson, Flume provides a similar level of stage production.
Flume primarily played his big hits throughout the set, with little to no time between songs, seamlessly using his mixer and live instruments to stitch together the songs in a way that perfectly balanced his more mellow music like “Smoke & Retribution” against his more fast paced and energetic songs, like his remix of Hermitude’s “HyperParadise”. It seemed that as soon we got comfortable and pulled into an almost trance like state by Flume’s slow, rolling bass lines and his clear, catchy lyrics, he would pull us out of it with a call for more energy or by adding in an exciting new element not present in the recorded version of the song. His entire performance was topped off by an encore that seemed to come straight out of a movie. After two or three minutes of the entire venue being pitch black and the audience chanting “One more song!”, Flume snuck back up to his setup and started playing an extremely slow lead-in to his final song, his remix of Disclosure’s “You & Me”. It was the perfect ending to a perfect performance.
The transitions between the dreamy, slow songs of his set and the more intense songs created a level of immersion in the music that I hadn’t experienced at a concert in a long time. His performance was nothing short of greatness and a Flume fan, whether they’re just a casual listener or his biggest fan, would’ve been extremely happy with his performance.
Despite his awesome performance, there were some problems with the openers. Because so much of the stage had to be covered so Flume’s setup wouldn’t be seen before he came out, the openers were left without a screen or surface to employ any visual effects and there was hardly any lighting available for them to use. For a sold out show, and with openers as good as the ones booked to play (Wave Racer & Charles Murdoch), it would have greatly improved the experience if just a little bit more was put into their performances, especially when there was nearly a half hour wait between the end of Wave Racer and the beginning of Flume. But, to the credit of the venue and to Flume’s team, the entire concert went off without a technical glitch or any sort of stage problems noticeable to the patrons, which is quite an achievement with so much going on onstage.
All in all, it was an excellent event with credit due to everybody involved, the crowd, South Side Ballroom, the stage production team, and the artists themselves, and I can’t wait until I get another opportunity to see Flume again.