Review: Australian DJ Flume enchants crowd at Auckland's Spark Arena with delightfully filthy drum and bass beats

The Australian DJ played at Auckland's Spark Arena on Thursday night.
The Australian DJ played at Auckland's Spark Arena on Thursday night. Photo credit: Supplied

REVIEW: Harley Streten, more commonly known by his DJ name Flume, brought people of all ages together for his one and only Auckland show - with his melodically mesmerising drum and bass beats.

On a muggy and drizzly Thursday night, the 31-year-old Sydney-born DJ performed at Auckland's Spark Arena to a smorgasbord of people - from first-year freshers to middle-aged men who love some filthy drum and bass tracks - all came together.

Beginning his set with a motor engine revving to a catchy beat and appearing on stage in a leather suit as if he was ready to take a motorbike out for a spin, Flume wasn't here to mess about - and the crowd loved every moment of it.

As the engine revved up to a frenzy, and with the lights flashing incessantly, an eruption of screams could be heard from the crowd, as Flume launched into his first song of the night 'Holdin On'.

It may have been one of Flume's oldest tracks, first releasing in 2012, but it still maintained a hold over the crowd, as the wave of nostalgia and excitement swept over them. There's no denying the DJ from down under knew how to wow his fans - and keep them fired up.

Unlike most DJs who usually wait until at least half an hour to address the crowd, Flume addressed the amped-up crowd just two songs into the set.

Flume was in his element while playing to the sold-out crowd.
Flume was in his element while playing to the sold-out crowd. Photo credit: Supplied

With the classic "Hey New Zealand, how are we all doing?" Flume got the party started - and kept it going. 

Whether it was different coloured strobe lights flashing through the crowd during the set or the changing colours every time the beat dropped, this was a show to thrill. Every track left the audience in a trance whether they were swaying along or jumping up and down to the beat.

Behind Flume was a green screen of an old archway which made him look like a modern-day statue, as he played with two DJ decks on either side of him. The projector behind him also had a myriad of different things behind him for every track from people making out to the foxglove flower from the cover of his 2016 album Skin.

He may have fired out banger after banger, leaving the crowd frenzied, but it wasn't until an hour in that the screams of delight truly hit the euphoric.

As 'You and Me' began to play with the audience screaming with delight, he started building up to the bass drop, encouraging the crowd to clap along to the song. They were more than happy to oblige as the DJ set everyone up for the big bass drop to his 2012 song's remix with electronic DJ duo Disclosure.

The crowd absolutely loved Flume despite him making the controversial call Australian audiences could be better.
The crowd absolutely loved Flume despite him making the controversial call Australian audiences could be better. Photo credit: Supplied

It wasn't lost on Flume as he shouted "This is wild. I guess you guys like drum and bass." 

But it wasn't all melodic highs and untold energy.

About halfway through his two-hour set, he slowed things right down with his 2012 track 'Insane', before playing a few more tracks which allowed the audience to re-regulate their racing heart rates after jumping up and down for so long.

Yet he wasn't going to keep them like this - they may have had a breather, but Flume took it up a notch playing 'Never be like you' from the 2016 album One In A Million: A Future Classic Compilation.

The hit spurred the lovers in the crowd to get intimate, with many grabbing their significant others to embrace  as the DJ played the song.

When the Australian DJ's set appeared to be coming to an end, he said he was very thankful to be in New Zealand and grateful the crowd had been so incredible all night.

Yet the night wasn't without controversy.

Flume appeared to end the set by revealing he thought Australian shows are the best but then sensing the crowd's discord, followed it up with "I don't know maybe New Zealand shows could be better. I hope you enjoyed the show."

The DJ then played the smash 2016 hit 'Say It' which the audience loved, bopping their heads and shouting out the lyrics - almost as if they'd forgive him his trans-Tasman faux pas.

The Australian DJ loved playing for the Auckland crowd.
The Australian DJ loved playing for the Auckland crowd. Photo credit: Supplied

After playing numerous throwbacks, Flume played several tracks from his new album released in 2023 Things Don't Always Go The Way You Plan. Flume told the crowd the songs on his latest album were songs he had mixed in 2014 and 2015 but had lost the laptops the tracks were on and only found them earlier this year. The audience loved the new material the DJ played, with everyone jamming out despite not knowing many of the words.

After nearly two hours, the DJ thanked the crowd for coming out ("You guys have been f***ing amazing") and said he was genuinely so appreciative so many people came to the show.

A 10-minute absence saw Flume milk the crowd's love as he came back to a room filled with cheers and announcing he would be playing a new track for the encore.

A bass-heavy tune followed, with many fans delighted by the new filthy drum and bass track.

After playing several new songs, the lights dimmed throughout the arena and Flume began to play the remix to New Zealand singer Lorde's 'Tennis Court' song which he released in 2014. As the tune wound down, with various flashing colours, and a burst of white light, it was all over.

The DJ from down-under thanked the crowd one last time before disappearing behind a cloud of smoke, leaving the crowd entranced and enthralled by his more than impressive DJ skills.

Flume will be performing in Christchurch on Saturday at the Electric Avenue Festival held in Hagley Park.