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Flume and Friends the Armory

Photo by Ben Allen

Minneapolis, you really showed up last night. On a Thursday, in fact. The openers certainly noticed, and I’m sure Flume did as well when he took the stage. Everybody wore their rager pants – those of the attendees who wore pants, anyway.

Flume is out on tour supporting his new album, ‘Palaces,’ released last Friday. He’s accompanied by a stellar opening cast of Chrome Sparks and Channel Tres. 

I owe an apology to Chrome Sparks for arriving too late to shoot his set. Jeremy, it wasn’t for lack of love of your music. I only learned I was approved to shoot two hours before the show started and I had to contend with the bear that is my anxiety as I walked my dog, fed myself, and prepared for the night. I owe you. 

Photo by Ben Allen

I still got to see most of Chrome Spark’s set, which was every bit of synth-driven, 90’s saturated uplifting goodness that I needed. At one point, he invited the crowd into his creative process, illustrating with his equipment how he manipulates a sample and layers loops on top of it, to craft a song. 

There’s a lot of mystery in all the knob-twiddling that electronic performers do, so it was cool of him to lift that veil a bit so we could all see the gerbils powering the engine. So to speak. 

Photo by Ben Allen

After a short break came Channel Tres, and he came to PARTY. He announced early it was his birthday and we’d all be celebrating with him. It’s worth pointing out that in nearly every concert I’ve attended in Minnesota, anybody on stage who is calling for audience feedback always has to ask more than once. I know that’s part of it with most folks, but definitely not all of them. They mostly just want to know people are having a good time because they’ve got lights blasting at them and can’t actually see the crowd. 

Photo by Ben Allen

Anyway, when he called out asking if people were having a good time, he was taken aback, noting, “Okay, Minneapolis. Y’all really came out tonight, huh?”

He spent the first couple of songs behind the decks, but after that, he grabbed the mic to sing as he danced back and forth across the stage, most notably for his collab, ‘Tunnel,’ with Polo & Pan. He had so much energy, which was great, because there was a half-hour gap between his set and Flume’s, and that carried everybody through the wait. 

Photo by Ben Allen

I fully expected Flume to frontload his set with new material. That seems like the typical approach, where the artist puts off old favorites until the last handful of songs. But not last night. Three of the first five songs he played were off his debut album, which I really appreciated. Those songs are so good, it’s crazy to think that they’ve been around for ten years now. 

Photo by Ben Allen

He got around to plenty of ‘Palaces’ work as well, but it was all woven together really well, never spending too much time in one place. His stage setup is pretty epic as well, with a series of large moving arches moving from the side of the stage to right behind him as he played, and continued to shapeshift as the night progressed. 

It was a good time. It’s getting harder and harder to get my ass out of the house, but nights like these will make it easier.

Photo by Ben Allen

Written by Benjamin Allen

In my photography, I try to tell the story of the relationship of people that create music and those that experience it through pictures. I’m drawn to rainbows like a moth to a big, beautiful flame.

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