From Soundcloud to Stadiums: Flume Marks 10-Year Milestone with Mind-Blowing Concert at the Kia Forum Review+Photos: Flume at Kia Forum 5/5/23
LOS ANGELES, CA- Regarded as one of the pioneers of future bass, Australian DJ and music producer Harley Edward Streten, better known as Flume, headlined a celebratory ten-year anniversary show at the Kia Forum on May 10th, 2023. This show, which featured heavy stage production and a wide variety of openers and guests, was a tribute to the major success that Flume has achieved in the past decade. Before selling out stadiums, Flume started playing with music production software when he was just 13 years old, making a name for himself in the Australian electronic music scene.
In 2011, he uploaded his debut self-titled album to SoundCloud, and the unique blend of glitchy beats, atmospheric synths, and soulful vocals caught the attention of listeners worldwide. Fast-forward ten years, Flume has won a multitude of awards, including a Grammy, and is known for his innovative and boundary-pushing approach to electronic music. He has gone from small clubs to headlining festivals and arenas around the world, and his performance at the Forum was one of the biggest of them all.
Just two days before the show, Flume dropped Arrived Anxious, Left Bored, following Things Don’t Always Go The Way You Plan in February. Together, these were a two-part surprise release comprising 20 previously unreleased tracks from the producer’s entire career. With collaborations with producer Emile Haynie and Jim-E Stack, as well as featuring some of his own vocals, fans were excited to see how the musician would combine these new releases with his more popular tracks.
Before the Australian DJ could come out, there were two openers – Kučka and Chet Faker – who have also collaborated closely with Flume on tracks like “Hyperreal” and “Drop the Game.” Before attending the event, I never really listened to Kučka or Chet Faker outside of their collaborations with Flume, but once I saw them live, I immediately added their entire discography to my library.
Kučka’s sound blends elements of electronic, R&B, and indie music, and I really appreciate how she meshes lush, dreamy textures with intricate, glitchy production. I think that she takes a lot of risks and pushes the boundaries of music, and I really appreciate how she incorporates unexpected sounds and influences into her work. For example, one of the highlights of her set was her performance of “Cry Cry Cry,” which is entirely self-produced and combines elements of synths and percussion to create a sense of tension and anticipation. Aside from the music, Kučka was a great performer and immersed herself in creating an enjoyable experience for the audience by dancing with them and engaging in conversation whenever possible. Even though they may not have known every song, it was clear that she gained many new fans that night, including myself.
After Kučka, Chet Faker, another Australian singer and songwriter known for his soulful and introspective style, took the stage at The Forum. One of the defining characteristics of his performance was his rich and emotive voice, which he used to convey a wide range of emotions throughout. I particularly enjoyed his rendition of “So Long So Lonely,” where he combined his live vocals with a keyboard performance to explore themes of loneliness and extreme isolation.
Despite the performance being only 45 minutes long, Faker’s talent as a singer, songwriter, and performer was masterfully showcased. From his immaculate vocals to the stunning visuals, every aspect of the show left the audience buzzing with energy, eagerly anticipating his performance alongside Flume.
Shortly after the second opener concluded, Flume made his grand entrance not on the main stage, but rather on a smaller stage in the center of the GA section, opening with “Hi This Is Flume.” Surrounded by a swarm of fans, he played the first half-hour of the set on this stage, performing hits like his remix of Disclosure’s “You and Me” and bringing out Kučka for “ESCAPE.”
Following his memorable entrance, Flume continued his set on the main stage, standing in the middle of a set design featuring arches and an impressive LCD screen, captivating the audience with his dynamic and visually stunning performance. Throughout the hour-and-a-half-long set, Flume played a wide variety of tracks from his ten-year discography, including “Insane” and “Chalk 1.3.3 (2017 Export WAV).” What further elevated the performance was the sheer number of guest artists he brought out. In addition to Kučka and Chet Faker, other guest artists included JPEGMAFIA, MAY-A, Beck, and Vera Blue. My personal favorite was Tove Lo, who made a stunning entrance in a red dress while singing “Say It” from the upper levels of the crowd. The audience went wild, singing along to every word and feeding off the infectious energy.
What stood out most during Flume’s performance was his sophisticated use of lighting production and video visuals to enhance his music. Instead of relying on pyrotechnics, Flume opted for a more subtle approach, employing soft colors and intricate lighting patterns to create a dreamlike and whimsical atmosphere that perfectly complemented the mood of his music. I was truly impressed by the seamless integration of music, lighting, and visuals, which made for a truly immersive and unforgettable experience.
As the concert neared its end, the LCD screen displayed a multitude of photos and videos showcasing Flume’s decade-long career. It was a truly special tribute to the impact that Flume and his music have had on the world. The audience had the opportunity to witness the evolution of Flume’s artistry over the years, from his early beginnings on SoundCloud to his groundbreaking albums and collaborations with some of the biggest names in the industry.
Flume closed the night with his remix of Lorde’s hit song “Tennis Court,” which had the entire audience singing and swaying in unison. The combination of Lorde’s smooth vocals and Flume’s signature synths provided the perfect conclusion to a night filled with energy and excitement. As the song came to a close, the crowd erupted into cheers and applause as Flume expressed his gratitude to the audience for their presence and support. It was a moment that will undoubtedly be remembered by fans for years to come.
It is clear that Flume’s 10-year anniversary concert was more than just a celebration of his music. It was a celebration of the power of music to bring people together, inspire creativity, and evoke emotion. And with Flume’s continued growth as an artist, there is no doubt that he will continue to have an impact on the world of electronic music for decades to come. Here’s to another 10 years of Flume and his groundbreaking music.