Three dates into his North American tour, under clear skies and twinkling stars, Australian producer/DJ Flume mesmerized a sold-out crowd into dancing Thursday evening away at Vancouver’s Malkin Bowl.
When his show was first announced a few weeks ago, the pre-sale and regular tickets (which were about $53 each) were sold-out in mere minutes. By the day of the show, some were re-selling tickets for up to $250. But fans of Flume, and those who caught his last show at the Vogue in August 2013, know that Harley Streten (aka Flume) knows how to put on an electronic production that stimulates almost all your senses.
Opening for Flume was Vancouver’s own Sleepy Tom. The local producer, whose debut The Currency was released last year on Fool’s Gold, warmed up the young crowd – many of whom dressed in their summer Festival outfits. From flowers in the hair, to tiny shorts and bikini tops, the summer-ready audience grooved to Sleepy Tom’s beats, which – to my personal excitement – included a remix of Pharrell’s epic 2003 hit “Frontin.”
As Sleepy Tom thanked the fans and exited the stage, a crowd began to form at the front. Everyone began to chant “We want Flume.” From the sidelines emerged the young 23 year-old, “Hello hello hello,” he said into his mic. He started off with his recent remix of Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down,” and with that began Flume’s over 60-minute non-stop set on a beautiful warm night in Stanley Park.
It was barely dark out when his set began just before 9 p.m., and as he began playing his originals like “Sleepless”, the dancing commenced almost involuntarily. With just one self-titled studio album, released back in 2012, his adoring fans know and love each of his many singles. Soon after “Sleepless”, he played “Left Alone”- which was recorded with another talented Australian producer and vocalist Chet Faker. A massive Canadian flag was being waved in the middle of the crowd. And as it eventually got darker, the colourful visuals and lights began to shine behind and all around Flume.
After playing a track by his former side project What So Not, Flume got back into his own classics like his remix of “You and Me”, “On Top”, Major Lazer’s “Get Free,” and arguably one of his best originals “Insane.”
“Shout out to all the fans outside, because it sold-out so fast,” he said, pointing at fans seen dancing just outside the fence of the beer garden. During peak darkness, as the end of the show approached and all that was visible were silhouettes of people dancing, the vibes of the outdoor venue felt on point. Being in between giant trees, in the fresh crisp evening air, Flume is probably one of the best artists to kick off outdoor summer shows in Vancouver (Thanks to Blueprint and LiveNation).
Walking out of the packed venue, and after seeing Flume for the second time, I realize why the young producer sells-out his shows globally. You truly can’t help but smile and dance when you hear Flume play, and on Thursday night in Malkin Bowl, that is what the Vancouver crowd did. We danced.
Flume’s North American tour includes stops in Montreal on June 11, and Toronto’s Bestival on June 12.