Marshmello, Flux Pavilion @ Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide 4/3/2017

Since the rapid decline of large scale electronic music festivals in Australia, the dance music devoted have seen a comforting increase in promoters bringing the world’s top dance acts to tour our shores. One such promoter is the up and coming BBE that recently have been at the forefront bringing dance icons such as Jauz, Carnage and Flosstradamus all with in the last year. Saturday, March 4th, was no different as again BBE treated Adelaide to another night to remember bringing Bass Lords Flux Pavilion and Marshmello.

Flux Pavillon off his own merit commercially introduced the world to a sound that before had been almost hidden in the dark corners of the internet and the garage raves throughout the UK. He  made styles such as Dubstep and Drum n’ Bass his that sent him skyrocketing, effectively bringing the underground scene to the mainstream. As for Marshmello, anonymity isn’t uncommon in dance music, as over time there has been a handful of artists with outfits more infamous than their music. Like Daft Punk and Deadmau5, Marshmello is the latest helmet wielding artist making waves. It was to be his second time in the City of Churches with a stop over on his Ritual Tour promoting his latest single. After his sold out blockbuster early last year, fans were ecstatic to see the edible DJ once again.

With the first act commencing the evening at 7pm Adelaide’s very own Logs, Naish and Dancespace set the tone for the night to be. With an extended lineup, sort of like a miniature festival, interstate talent GG Magree hit the stage followed by Adelaide’s very own Strict Face, contrasting Tech House vibes with tracks like GG’s breakout vocal performance of NGHTMRE and Zeds Dead’s hit Frontlines. Next to perform was Sydney’s Enschway, a future bass producer.

Although on support duties, Enschway is currently on his I’ll Wait Tour supporting his latest single with Sumthin Sumthin. Enschway raised the intensity yet again and all a sudden it felt like you were at a festival, like the night’s headliners are so used to. With a mixture of hard hitting trap heaters to get the rapidly building crowd jumping and Enschway’s almost signature future bass sound really giving his performance depth and reminder that he’s more than just your typical filler in the lineup. Enschway returns to Adelaide April 1 to conclude his tour.

By the time Enschway left the stage, the floor was almost full as the crowd moved to get a a good spot for the big Brit, Flux Pavilion. Anticipation was high with fans chanting, “Flux, Flux, Flux…” eagerly waiting his arrival. Sporting bright blue hair Flux Pavilion opened with one of his newer collaborations with Snails, Cannonball, followed briskly by the smash Bass Cannon. From the get go it was all guns blazing as he put on a master class in all things dubstep and bass related. Flux Pavilion, although only 28 years of age, is quite a veteran developing a large fan base early that obviously are still with him with the amount hype around the playing of older releases. One of these being arguably his biggest success I Cant Stop.

Easily one of the most well known three word vocals in dance music of the last decade, the crowd shouted the phrase at Flux before erupting on the dance floor screaming the synth line just as loud. This was then followed by the track’s second movement, I Still Can’t Stop. Although he was not closing the night, it could have been his own show, with the crowd in the palm of his hand. With a mixture of exciting visuals and an electric light show, the professionalism was something to behold with audience member’s treated to a seamless performance. Flux Pavilion ended his set with his recent single Emotional featuring EDM’s favourite vocalist Matthew Koma, before returning for his encore of his acclaimed remix of DJ Fresh’s Gold Dust.

Last but most definitely not least it was time for masked virtuoso, Marshmello. At quarter to midnight the LED backdrop started his opening visual as the DJ dressed in all white ducked behind the DJ booth. As the intro resolved out he jumped in his glowing helmet to the roar of the crowd before dropping his happy anthem Find Me. Marshmello launched into an onslaught of all his joyful future bass hits that have made him the star he is today.

There were moments to sing like during originals Alone, Keep it Mello and his festival-made remixes such as Jack Ü’s Where are Ü now. The happiness was contagious as a frown could not be seen in the crowd. It’s rare these days to see a DJ play almost entirely his own music where up to the 50 minute mark he was yet to play another’s music. This is where the night took an unexpected turn changing the whole tone of the set. Future Bass was replaced with the hardest hitting bass tracks of the evening. The change was consistent with the visuals that also changed depicting the marshmallow character, a robot and a war machine just as destructive as the music that was being played. This was a tribute to the “so called” identity of Marshmello, dubstep producer Dotcom.

Although unconfirmed, this has been EDM’s best kept secret for the past few years. Marshmello ended his set with his euphoric remix of Adele’s Hello with the last hoorah being the tour’s title track, a sped up Ritual cut short to comply with curfew just after 1am. Before walking off stage Marshmello took a photo with his Mellogang, giving the fans a souvenir and promising big things on his return.

Review by Liam Kerr


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