Union Transfer in Philadelphia is known to host a melting pot of genres when it comes to music. That’s probably why it’s my favorite venue in the Philly, ranging from rap to rock acts from night to night. On July 25th, a sold out crowd entered the doors to check out a 22-year-old Australian producer and DJ, Harley Edward Streten aka Flume, and he did not disappoint one bit. This wasn’t your typical EDM show though, as Flume is not your typical electronic artist. I know you are thinking that there were crazy panda hats and kandi, but not on this particular night. There was something very grown up and deep about the feeling in the venue that night. Fans were ready to hear the music and just let it take their bodies on a journey.
I had seen Flume earlier in the year at Coachella and mind you, he had one of the biggest crowds on that first weekend. People sandwiched and almost tried to fit like Lego pieces to get a glimpse of Flume’s set. It came at the right time because I was looking for electronic music with layers and substance. After I left California, his self-titled album became a staple in my iPod for months to come.
Right on the dot at 10 P.M., Flume appeared on the Union Transfer stage to a legion of fans who were very well versed with his material. The first song – “Drop the Game”, Flume’s collaboration with artist Chet Faker – set the tone for the night which would be a journey through genres like indie and hip-hop. We got to hear his highly-acclaimed remixes of Lorde and Disclosure songs, “Tennis Court” and “You and Me” respectively. The lights and the music conjoined together to act as a hypnotizing medium. You just shut up and danced – the way the music and concerts are supposed to be. The highlight for me was when “Sleepless”, Flume’s collaboration with Jezzabell Doran, was played. It took me back to driving down to the Coachella desert and those reflective, peaceful moments. Those are the types of emotions that are invoked at a Flume show.
I know that most DJs get on the mic and almost disrupt the vibe that they create sometimes. Flume kept the talking to a minimum and let the music speak for him. However, I did appreciate the discussion with the crowd about The White Stripes (Big White Stripes Fan!) as they sang the guitar line from “Seven Nation Army” while we prepared for the encore. “Was that the White Stripes? I love the White Stripes,” Streten proclaimed. It’s a testament to the personal connection that the young man’s music has in bringing his fans together. This was one of my first Flume shows and definitely will not be the last.