CONCERT REVIEW: FLUME, VINCE STAPLES & SOPHIE LET THE GOOD TIMES BANG - QUDOS BANK ARENA, DECEMBER 9/16
Flume’s visit to Sydney, Qudos Bank Arena on his close-to-ending world tour was no short of a bangin’ party with some hype opening acts.
SOPHIE started the night with a 30 minute, heavy electric mix, filled with unique sounds and tunes that my knowledge of the producer doesn’t cover, except for L.O.V.E., which was kind of hard to get into because of its long introduction. Nevertheless, there was bopping, accompanied by a growing crowd that definitely peaked during a track that can only be described as a club banger. It was pretty heartbreaking when the set finished and LEMONADE & VYZEE weren’t played... because those would’ve gotten a crowd that seemingly weren’t that familiar with the UK producer more psyched.
Vince Staples came out to an ominous voiceover and jumped straight into Loco, which had everyone vibing. The rest of his set comprised of tracks from Hell Can Wait, Summertime ’06 and Prima Donna, accompanied by beautiful graphics; with a favourite being that scene of falling rose petals from American Beauty. His conversations with the crowd kept everyone engaged and wanting more, providing easy segues into the next songs in his set. Though Lemme Know lacked Jhene Aiko, Staples and the audience still enjoyed hemselves, exchanging the holler back of "lemme know". Other highlights included Norf Norf, Blue Suede and Ghost, with the former two injected with a next level energy that feels like the Spotify track on steroids.
My favourite track was Ghost because Staples performed the Major Lazer remix. LIVE. I hadn’t heard it prior, so hearing it live and seeing how it got the crowd jumping up and down from the seating was actually crazy. Vince Staples’ flow and electricity throughout the set were flawless.
Then came Flume.
What an experience.
Though this marked Flume’s second return to Sydney in a year, it was the first that had him perform tracks off his newest release, Skin.
Beginning with Helix and its perfect first drop, there was no way that the crowd could have possibly anticipated what exactly was to be going down in the rest of his set.
Everything from the overhead camera showing his setup to the laser curtain were on point. Flume just seemed super keen to play a lit show for a huge crowd in his stomping grounds.
He ran through new and old parts of his discography, inviting guests & collaborators on stage to impress the crowd even more. KUĆKA and Vince Staples coming out for Numb & Getting Colder, Smoke & Retribution and, in the encore, My Boo were definitely highs in his set, the latter of which was better live than it was in the original Like a Version.
Flume’s most recent hits, Never Be Like You and Say It, brought about a weird unity of stadium proportions. Not only were we all bonding in the fact that we all collectively were yelling “fuck/ed” (no? Just me?), but everyone swaying in unison, singing about relationship woes was magical.
Flume’s remixes and edits of Lorde’s Tennis Court, RL Grime’s Core, Rustie’s Slasherr and the well-known You & Me by Disclosure were some kind of out of body experience. With everyone screaming lyrics & jumping around when needed, these songs were the heart of the dance party vibe that Flume’s concert was giving off. Flume’s lighting team really didn’t skimp on the lighting during his show, especially during Slasherr and Core, because the way to really describe it all is: ALL. OF. THE. LIGHTS.
A surprisingly amazing part of his set was when he played Insane, which had most people on their feet, swaying, singing and admiring the spacey graphics show. It felt out of worldly and was definitely one of those 'lost in the music' moments.
There were slight disappointments like no presence of Sleepless, which would’ve totally made the night as a classic. But disregarding that, the 1.5 hours of Flume were solid good vibes.
The entire show was definitely better due to the general concert environment, where everyone was just stoked to be there. Being in the stands instead of on the floor, it felt a bit weird to be standing, and slightly blocking views, out of pure astonishment over Flume killing it over the earlier tracks like On Top and Wall Fuck which are definitely harder to dance to, but it was all worth it. SOPHIE and Vince Staples both brought it to a crowd that were already expecting something huge, and Flume absolutely killed it.
Feature Photo: Hypothetical.