Listen Out 2019 was set to be a ripper of a day with artists such as Schoolboy Q, Denzel Curry, Diplo and Flume set to be taking the stage along with plenty of others at Brisbanes RNA Showgrounds.
Walking in I was surrounded by a mix of all out festival heads in their best attire, people who looked a little lost and what seemed to be lines after lines everywhere from the bar to the toilets and even to the stages. Things like this are basically unavoidable when you have thousands of people all in one space but compared to last year at Victoria Park I think changing the venue was a smart idea.
For most of the day like many others I stayed in the main arena at the Atari stage where I kicked off my day with the beautiful miss WAFIA. After being unable to perform in Melbourne due to whether conditions her home town fans were happy to see she got her chance in Brisbane. Playing tracks such as Hurts and Better Not WAFIA rocked the stage like a goddess. Her vocals were so streamline and there wasn’t a single beat or note out of place. WAFIA definitely has the sing along hits that get the crowd excited and more often that not you’d think to yourself “oh I know this one“. WAFIA closed he set with her most popular single I’m Good before thanking the crowd and dancing off the stage. WAFIA’s on stage presence was both energetic and inviting and she was an absolute pleasure to watch.
After cancelling his performance at the Melbourne leg of Listen Out due to a sore throat, I was excited to hear Denzel Curry would be performing in Brisbane. Denzel rolled out onto the stage with so much energy he wasn’t letting anything not even a sore throat get in the way of giving his fans a show to remember. Denzel kicked off his set with singles ZUU and RICKY before heading into fan favourites SUMO and SWITCH IT UP. Denzel made sure he was engaging with the crowd every chance he could encouraging the crowd to sing along to any part of the songs we knew.
There wasn’t a single dull moment during his entire set. I’m surprised he could even speak after leaping and bounding around the stage like a mad man. At times he even looked possessed, like his body was a slave to the music and the crowd just couldn’t look away. Denzel also threw in some killer covers such as Look At Me! and I’msippinteainyohood by XXXtentacion and their set wrap up cover of Bulls On Parade by Rage Against The Machine.
When talking about some of the leading names in the electronic scene, Diplo definitely sits in the fore front of that list. Touring generally as a solo artist, Diplo also tours the world with his Major Lazer crew and as apart of Jack Ü with fellow DJ Skrillex. Diplo has also performed at many major music festivals around the globe bringing his high energy tracks to partygoers everywhere.
I have seen Diplo live twice before and he always puts on a killer performance but my only complaint stays the same. He doesn’t play enough of his original content. Don’t get me wrong I can get down to any killer remix of a chart topping track I know all the words to, but where was Where Are You Now? Middle? And Color Blind?. But other than that Diplo lit the place on fire and the crowd was eating out of the palm of his hand.
Covering tracks such as Losing It by Fisher and Tik Tok by Kesha and even Black Skinhead by Kayne West it was impossible not to dance along. Diplo was the first act of the night to showcase some killer pyrotechnics and there is nothing better than a smoke canyon going off as you rock your body to a massive drop. Whats different about Diplo is that he goes against the grain, remixing hip hop, rock, reggae, house, you name it and Diplo could remix it into a party banger. In saying that he also knows who his target audience is and makes sure that the songs he chooses ware well known by the crowd. Songs such as Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes for instance sent the crowd into a frenzy with everybody singing the beat of the song as loud as they could.
You could tell that Diplo was enjoying being on stage as much as we were loving him being there and every now and again he would do a shout out through the mic to keep the good vibes flowing. Unfortunately I was too busy rocking out that I forgot to take as many notes as I should have about Diplo’s set, so you will just have to trust me when I say it was killer.
Closing out Listen Out 2019 was Flume’s set and it was completely unreal. Not only is the dude incredibly talented but he always finds a way to take over all of your senses. His music isn’t just about the music, its about how it makes you feel, what it makes you think about and so much more.
Flume’s live show hasn’t always been his strong point, well that was until now. Flume, dressed in a metallic jumpsuit slowly took to the stage, where a shop desk outfitted with LED lights, three stations of electronic instruments (two on the side and one in front on the floor) and an outstretch rug laid upon the stage. The crowd was instantly hooked as lights started to flicker and the muffled undertone of track Sleepless started to play.
Flume was also joined on stage by slowtai for collab single High Beams as well as Vera Blue for single Never Be Like You at witch point the set made a dramatic turn. Flume started to grab plant pots off the shop desk at the back of the stage and he started smashing them at the ground to the jagged breakdown of his remix of SOPHIE’s “Is It Cold In The Water?”
From then I was both a little confused but also very curious as what the remainder of his set had in store. Flume then rolled out a bunch of his fan favourites back to back such as Smoke And Retribution, Insane, On Top, Holdin On and the absolute banger that is his cover of Tennis Court by Lorde. The crowd just couldn’t get enough. The stage was alive with lights and sounds and pictures and it was positively overwhelming, everywhere you looked something was happening, there was even 4 people doing tai chi on stage at one point… whatttt!!! Just when you thought you had seen it all Flume took to a bunch of old speakers and computer equipment with a sledge hammer as the fiery and slightly terrifying sounds of single Wall Fuck played.
As the set made its way to a close the on stage trauma came to a holt and Flume debuted his brand new single Rushing Back featuring the incredible vocals of Vera Blue. The crowd was also treated to Flume’s cover of Hyperparadise by Hermitude, Free and Say It from his ‘Skin’ album and Quits featuring Reo Cragun. Flume then closed his set with one of the first covers I ever heard by him, You & Me originally by Disclosure. Getting up close and personal with his fans, Flume ran off the stage and through the crowd. You could tell by the smile on his face that he was stoked at how well received his new and very risky live show was. Although it was very random, it was unique. You couldn’t stand back and say you have ever seen something like it before or that you probably ever would. Every element of the show matched Flume’s unique style of music and most importantly it was captivating, there wasn’t a second where mine or the crowds eyes weren’t glued to that stage.