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Review: Hayden James, ODESZA & Kele (Bloc Party), June 26 @ The Metro

Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on July 1, 2014

Words by Krissy Bryant

There is nothing better than a good ol’ sideshow. Festival sideshows are the absolute greatest for those who are either running low on dosh or who just can’t make the festival. They are even greater when the sideshows spread the love and travel to the opposite side of the country – I’m looking at you CIRCO (I love you!) The Perth event gave East-coasters the opportunity to catch part of their stellar lineup, and I was lucky enough to make it to the Sydney show featuring Hayden James, ODESZA and Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke.

Spaces on the dance floor were scarce as Sydney-based producer Hayden James took to the stage. Right from the start there were good vibes all around, accompanied by lovely floral kaleidoscope projections on the stage.

The set was undeniably highlighted by his yet-to-be-released track Feelin’ Better Together  (ft. Touch Sensitive) which was then followed by his massive hit Permission to Love.

A truly humble Hayden thanked the crowd on a number of occasions and also apologised for being ‘a bit drunk,’ however I couldn’t imagine anyone in the venue having an issue with that considering what he was delivering. This young producer is already making a name for himself in the Australian EDM scene and is definitely one to keep an eye on!

Judging by the crowd’s welcome, you would not have guessed that this was Seattle-based EDM duo ODESZA’s first time in Australia. The duo began their set by warning the audience that ‘a lot of weird shit’ was about to happen.

Weird (but incredible) shit, indeed.

The crowd was immediately lulled into a trance by infectious rhythm overlayed with delicate melodies. The energy of Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight filled the air as the pair mesmerised everyone on the drum machines, producing layer upon layer of pure goodness. How Did I Get Here and Sun Models were very obviously the crowd favourites.

As with Hayden’s set, the entire crowd soaked up ODESZA’s vibes with every single body on the dance floor getting down and jiggy with it.

Back on Australian soil for the first time since 2011, Kele Okereke arrived on stage with a bottle of Jägermeister, setting out to deliver banger after banger straight off the bat. With a crowd that was well and truly warmed up, the Bloc Party frontman was welcomed with open arms – along with some interesting dance moves that I have never witnessed before.

There was no doubt that Kele knew his way around the decks as he began his set. In saying this, I (silly me) didn’t realise that this was, in fact his DJ set. Being a Bloc Party fan and expecting something a little different, I was a bit taken back by the full-forward EDM and deep house approach.

What was really surprising is that Kele did not use a mic once, not even to greet the crowd. This, I felt, created a sense of impersonality throughout his set which was a little disappointing. As the night progressed, I could see the crowd thinning out- my guess is that people were either under the same initial impression as I was.

Clearly enjoying performing, after two time notices Kele’s set was swiftly cut off. Although Kele delivered a great set, I’m not entirely convinced that the nightclub set was received as well as it could’ve been by the entire audience.

Check out our interview with ODESZA here
And our Q & A with Hayden James here!


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