“I just have to stop the music for a second,” Flume told the 25,000-strong crowd a couple of songs into his headlining set. “This is so surreal for me. I watched the Pixies play here in 2010! Thank you all for your support, let’s fucking do this Splendour!”
It’s been a long journey for Flume since 2010. In 2013 his set packed the Mix Up stage with punters eager to hear his new single, Holdin On. Since then he has become Australian dance music’s biggest export: he’s lapped the globe a few times over, sold out 10,000+ capacity shows, conquered the biggest festival stages and released a powerful new record in Skin.
Splendour marked a very special homecoming for the Future Classic star and perhaps to honour the connection, Flume’s guest list read like a who’s-who of upcoming Australian stars: Vera Blue, Ngaiire, Kučka, Remi, Baro and Jess Kent all dropped by at various points to lend a hand.
— Nina Las Vegas (@ninalasvegas) July 24, 2016
It’s also one of the first times in Australia that Flume’s new live show has been given an audience. From the start, it was eye boggling – huge hanging geometric shapes glittered and snapped to the beat, and the mixing desk was an optical illusion that made it appear as if you were looking through Harley Streten’s legs.
For opener Helix, with the flute sounds flitting above the steadily rising synth drone, a spinning blue light was the only focal point until the drop cracked open a hundred strobe lights. Helix is a perfect opener: dramatic, theatrical, menacing. On record it pulses, in the surrounds of the Amphitheatre it explodes.
Flume tracks Holdin On and Sleepless fell in quickly behind, the visuals slightly obscured by a sea of 10,000 phones being shoved in the air. Sleepless, with its glittering synth lines, remains one of his best compositions. On Top slid into newbie Lose It, with a highly energetic Remi filling in for Vic Mensa. Vera Blue took Kai’s spot on the shuddering Never Be Like You, Ngaiire prowled the stage for Take A Chance. Jess Kent pulled off an impressive feat by nailing Tove Lo’s vocal on the splintery Say It.
The knitting together of old and new was seamless. But still, the biggest moments came with Flume’s high profile remixes: Lorde’s Tennis Court and Hermitude’s HyperParadise both featured heavily. In a somewhat predictable – but no less impressive – ending, the crushing remix of Disclosure’s You & Me closed out the set.
Clearly exhausted and equally overwhelmed, Flume bowed – then yelled “Fuck you Pauline Hanson! Goodnight!” into the mic – leaving the crowd to catch the confetti that was drifting over the Amphitheatre.
Tennis Court (Lorde Remix)
Never Be Like You
Smoke and Retribution
Take A Chance
Hyperparadise (Hermitude remix)
You and Me (Disclosure remix)
Jules LeFevre is a Staff Writer at inthemix and FasterLouder. Follow her on Twitter.