Australian electronic musician Flume brought his infectious lights and sounds to the Electric Factory last week in support of his sophomore album, “Skin.”
After a very successful European tour, Flume ventured to North America to bring his Intelligent Dance Music (known as IDM) and glitch-based sounds to a whole new audience. With a strong fanbase in the U.S., it’s easy to understand how Flume, whose real name is Harley Streten, was able to sell out this show, as well as many others across the country.
At the venue, sometime after 7 p.m., a line formed outside, hours before doors opened early. Expectant fans were donned in summer apparel, ready to dance to Flume’s pulsating, electronic vibes.
The opening act was a duo by the name of Kenton Slash Demon. Hailing from Denmark, this house duo brought darker, more brooding sounds and heavy rhythms. Meanwhile, the crowd waded, scattered throughout the venue.
The second opener was Basenji, a fellow electronic artist from Australia. Basenji seemed to be able to tap more into the crowd’s fervor than Kenton Slash Demon, and soon enough, the audience clamored towards the standing area and became fixated on the experimental trip-hop sounds of Basenji.
After a roaring applause at the conclusion of his set, the audience was warmed up and ready for the main event.
By 10:20 p.m., the crowd’s eagerness hung in the air as everyone knew Flume would be coming out at any minute.
A few minutes later, the lights dimmed and music began to sound, barely audible over the cheers of passionate fans. A great deal of fog was being produced on stage and a black cloth hung from the ceiling down to the stage, shrouding the setup in a mysterious way.
Lights went off behind Flume’s DJ booth, flashing to the rhythm of the song playing. As the energy built up, Flume entered stage right and manned his station as the excitement nearly spilled over.
The music became tense, the sounds rose higher and higher until they culminated in the well-known “drop” where the beat lands hard and the main part of the song begins. At this time, the black curtain dropped from the stage and the lights blared behind Flume.
This kind of epic performance was further emboldened by Flume’s futuristic setup, with a bright screen above and behind him that produced various visuals for each of his tracks. In front of the screen were giant cubes, placed in such a way that made elements of the screen appear distorted and sometimes even three-dimensional.
From start to finish, Flume had his audience in a trance-like state, only breaking a few times to talk to the crowd. His set included several songs off of his newest album, “Skin,” as well as fan-favorite remixes and songs off his eponymous debut.
Flume did not disappoint; he delivered just as everyone expected, playing a dizzying array of neck-breaking beats and mind-melting synths. Flume masterfully incorporated lights, visuals and even live instrumentation via drum pad into a stellar performance that would turn any casual fan into a die-hard supporter.