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Flume at Shrine Auditorium 8/12/16. Photo by Kwanza Gooden. Licensed by www.BlurredCulture.com.

On August 12th, I was able to head on over to the Shrine Auditorium to see Flume with some of my closest friends. We had our tickets for two months, and knowing how quickly tickets sold out for Flume’s multiple shows, one of my friends smartly prepared for the event by using an app to have someone wait in line for us for five hours to ensure that we would be front and center by the time we arrived (god bless TaskRabbit!).

With our spots in line secured, we were some of the first people to get inside the venue. It didn’t take long before the two-story building completely filled up, and packed us together like sardines. Everyone in the venue was preparing to experience a show like no other. I was lucky … I got to experience two shows.

Standing directly in front of me were a group of sorority girls. They were obviously excited for the show. Everything they did and said could easily be overheard, and “the show” that they put on for me was almost as enjoyable as the sonic barrage of electronica that Flume unleashed.

Tallest sorority girl: “The pill hasn’t hit yet” (20 min. later) “It’s a fake pill”

Other sorority girl: “Isn’t it  fun showing up to places with hot friends”?

Tallest sorority girl: I should’ve taken a whole one.

Other sorority girl: Don’t have that mindset (she turns around to face us) “Excuse me, can you take a picture of us”? (after fiddling with her camera she realizes that there’s no more space in the camera’s memory)

My friend: “Can I have some of your water”?

Tallest sorority girl responds: “I would, but I need it cuz I’m rolling. Are you rolling”?  “Can we have a friendly moshpit”?

Other sorority girl to my friend: “Sorry I’m taller than you”

HAHAHHA. Kids … easy on the drugs.

The first opening act was a DJ named “HWLS”. He was excellent live. He dropped bass so heavy, it shook the entire floor and made all of us vibrate. After HWLS, Shlohmo came to the stage. No disrespect to Shlohmo, but I think this was the first time that I felt I would have enjoyed his show better if it was pre-recorded. His set seemed disorganized, and didn’t flow together for very well.

Finally, it was Flume’s turn to take the stage.

Flume at Shrine Auditorium 8/12/16. Photo by Kwanza Gooden. Licensed by www.BlurredCulture.com.The opening of Flume’s set built up the anticipation. While playing spread out beats behind a sheer curtain hiding his platform, he gave us a massive 5-minute build-up until, in an instant, the curtain fell to reveal his presence. Multiple lights spotted to him as he began to play “Helix”, and the crowd erupted in cheers as sea of hands raised to the sky.

His music was accompanied by equally impressive visuals by graphic artist, Jonathan Zawanda. Flume’s transparent platform, and the geometrically constructed light set above him, flashed in sync with his music, matching bright shades of blue, purple, yellow, green, red and orange throughout his show. He threw it back to an older song, “Holdin On”, and just as we began to “feel the high” with his music, Flume brought it down to get dark and serious.

Flume at Shrine Auditorium 8/12/16. Photo by Kwanza Gooden. Licensed by www.BlurredCulture.com.He started to play “Wall Fuck” as a menacing goblin with glaring red eyes projected on the back wall and slowly began to melt. He transitioned by playing what sounded like an altered version of “Drop The Game” with Chet Faker before bringing up mood back up by playing his remix of Lorde’s “Tennis”.he ebb and flow of Flume’s performance brought us back to a calmer tone with twinkling noises, paralleled with his lights as if they were stars in the night sky as he played “Pika”. He then transitioned over to “Never Be Like You” feat. Kai. We all sang in unison, with a Zawanda graphic of bright, beautiful pink and purple flower moving before us. Of course those sorority girls kept on with their rave plan set in motion…

*The drugs must have hit the sorority girls. The tallest sorority girl has turned her back on Flume and is screaming at me now. The other sorority girl pull out what must have been the third joint that they’ve lit up at the show, but after taking one hit, she must have been too stoned as she drops it onto the floor*

Flume at Shrine Auditorium 8/12/16. Photo by Kwanza Gooden. Licensed by www.BlurredCulture.com.

Appropriately, Flume carries on with a heavy rave beat with flashing lights likely to give someone a seizure. But this was pure EDM and everyone was going nuts for it, including myself. Up-tempo still going strong, he played his remix “Hyperparadise”, and then began to bang the shit out of his beat machine with “Free”. Bringing us back down, he played “Like Water” with slow-moving neon nature and floral graphics by Zawanda. Eventually, this segued into one of my favorite songs with Tove Lo, “Say It”. With Sweden representing, I sang back every word with the music sounding even sweeter and hitting harder when listening to it live, and having everyone sing in a chorus. Another throwback with “Sleepless”, and a beautiful morphing ocean, mid-wave as a visual accompaniment. Flume then played his remix of “You & Me” by Disclosure feat. Eliza Doolittle. Here, the visuals shifted from a cool blue nature piece, to a hot and heavy make out scene with flaming red lights. I’m completely certain, this put everyone in the mood. But then of course…

*Holyshit. These sorority chicks are actually moshing! Don’t do drugs kids. Someone tries to forcefully cut between us to get closer the the stage.*

Tallest sorority girl: (yelling at the top of her voice at the dude trying to push his way through) “Stop, you’re fucking up my roll”!

*She then gets on her hands and knees to look for the water bottle she had dropped on the ground. #thisispriceless

Flume at Shrine Auditorium 8/12/16. Photo by Kwanza Gooden. Licensed by www.BlurredCulture.com.

Flume thanks his openers, the people who have organized the event at The Shrine, and us, the people of LA, before he takes his leave. But of course, we didn’t let him go that easily. We all chanted the magic word, “Encore”, and within minutes Flume was back on stage. I was overjoyed when I began to hear my favorite song from his sophomore album, “Tiny Cities” with Beck. I just love the melody, and the layers of Beck’s vocals. I sing back with as much love and passion for this track as I did with “Say It”. Once the beat drops, a saturated, multicolored orchid by Zawanda comes onto the screen. It’s simply beautiful. The orchid slowly opens and closes with brilliant shades of yellow, green, red and blue. And with that, we’re all left to walk on Cloud 9.

If you’ve ever had a memory or a recent moment when you were enjoying yourself so much, that that point in time felt like it went by in an instant, then that’s how Flume’s concert felt to me. He played all of my favorite songs, while being enchanted with his paralyzing light show, and Zawanda’s stunning graphics. Despite the hot mess of high sorority girls standing next to us, My friends and I danced, sang and cheered the night away, and I was smiling from ear to ear. All of my previous frustrations of the week merely dissolved. If you’re reading this article, you’ve likely already heard a track by Flume at some point in time, if not a remix, or anything from his new album “Skin”. However, if you haven’t seen him live, you ought to. It will leave you happy and recharged. For other L.A. locals, you may see Flume sooner than you think- he announced that he was moving to Best Coast at our concert.

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Flume at Shrine Auditorium 8/12/16. Photo by Kwanza Gooden. Licensed by www.BlurredCulture.com.

 

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