You know that feeling when everything just goes right and all your hard work finally pays off? Me too. What about when you win 8 ARIAs, headline festivals all over the world, have your new album Skin go gold, get nominated for multiple Grammys and are the incumbent Hottest 100 winner? Me neither. Flume does though – and you couldn’t wipe the smile off his face as he turned the Sidney Myer Music Bowl into a heaving pile of goo last week.
Before the tuna king hit the chilly Melbourne stage, tour mate Vince Staples had the responsibility of warming up the crowd. The Californian was a stand-out earlier in the year at Laneway Festival and this performance was no different; Staples bounced around through a passionate 40 minute set, with War Ready and Smile particular highlights.
Bathroom break, beer run, lost my friends, hi-fived a guy wearing only a ‘tune rag’, found my friends – and we’re back.
As the mosquito net curtain fell in time with the filthy drop in opening track Helix, the crowd collectively lost their shit (for the first of many times during the almost two-hour set). This was followed by a sneaky Taku cover of Higher and the left-right-goodnight combo of On Top, Holdin’ On and Smoke & Retribution – The latter giving Skin collaborators Kučka and Vince Staples their first chance to join Flume on stage.
This was the third time I have caught the Sydney-sider this year (Coachella and Laneway) and headline slots are where Flume really shines. Everybody there was in the crowd for one reason, and the 25-year-old truly put on a show worthy of the adoration shown. The lights, graphics and lasers were the perfect accompaniment to a set full of bangers. The biggest moment of the night was reserved for the upcoming Hottest 100 winner (lock it in) Never Be Like You – there was no Kai this time, but after this show I’ll never be able to hear the song the same again anyway. The tight set was rounded out by crowd favourites HyperParadise and Say It, with chants for an encore beginning before Flume had even walked off the stage.
The inevitable return began with the man’s recent Like A Version of My Boo, with Kučka and Staples reuniting on stage one final time to provide vocals. While the performance of the ’90s classic was A+, watching 8,000 people do the running man together was the real highlight. The night ended with Skin deep cut Pika and the huge You & Me remix – and just like that the crowd dispersed, like a school of tuna swimming upstream and into the open sea of a brisk Melbourne night.