Red Bull has been taking LA by storm all month long. From Sylvan Esso to Grimes, shows have been selling out left and right. When Australia’s own electronic dance artist Flume came to downtown LA’s Mayan Theater on Thursday night, the legend perpetuated further. Though the lineup promised vibrant sets from Taskforce and River Tiber, the great anticipation was for a mega dance party when headliner Flume took the stage.
Little to no correlation between the artists is conceivable. From ambient house music to experimental slow rock to hip hop infused electronic dance, all three seem to be pulling water from different wells. Somehow, they all made it on the same lineup. Taskforce kicks off the night. The painfully slow ambient house music is underwhelming to say the least.
Toronto’s River Tiber serves up an equally baffling dish. Their transcendent experimental rock style is hard to follow and lacks gumption. It feels like being lost in a dream that sporadically changes directions. River Tiber’s unsavory songs are so drawn out that they bond into an indiscernible mashup. The mind-numbing monotony gets broken up during the lead guitarist’s mega solo that comes out of nowhere during at the end of the set. It is stunning. The unassuming shy guy hadn’t so much as bopped a bit before, and now he is wailing on stage. It is a much needed wake up call.
As difficult as it may be for electronic music producers to create songs in the studio, the challenge of translating that into the live setting may be the biggest feat. Flume is absolutely up to the task. This Aussie brings the tremendous weight and power of a roaring outdoor performance into the modest Mayan Theater. He is a seasoned festival veteran having done FYF, Coachella, Austin City Limits and the world festival tour for years. So, when he comes to the stage, the audience expects a rowdy dance party akin to the likes of Coachella’s Sahara tent. They are not disappointed. Every time the beat drops, the rumbling feels so strong that it may make the ceiling cave – if not from the bass vibrations, then absolutely from the dance storm that ignites on the floor. He takes his time slowly working in some older hits like “Sleepless,” “You and Me” (Disclosure remix) and “On Top.” His most explosive moment of the night is playing “Insane.” After working that in ever so coyly, he brings out special guest Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow to sing their jam “Some Minds” live. With that, he saves the night. His almost two hour set brightens through the otherwise dim night. Even though is was a long night, Flume revived it and delivered even more than expected.