Hayden James – Forum Melbourne

Hayden James – Forum Melbourne

Written by Tara O’Brien

Photos by Mitch Lowe at Mountain Sounds 2018


Mitch Lowe Photo - Mountain Sounds 2018-33

Hayden James kicks off his ‘Just Friends’ tour tonight with fellow Aussies Happiness is Wealth and Carmouflage Rose at a sold out show at the Forum in Melbourne.

Happiness is Wealth opened with a relaxed set of mellisonant dance music, coupled with some live lyrics that served as good background music as the crowd continued to pile in. Off the back of performing Kanye’s Heartless on Triple J Like a Version, hip-hop sensation Carmouflage Rose was up next. Highlights were Late Nights, Wildflowers and his new track Let Me Down, the rappers intensity and passion for live performance shining through. Rose’s rapid wordplay toned down in his version of Heartless, which introduced electronic undertones and carved the way for Hayden James. Rose is one among a group of upcoming talented Aussie hip-hop artists that we should expect more great music to come out of.

Hayden James comes onto the stage and the Forum becomes engulfed in smoke. The huge vibe is somewhere between a nightclub and a festival, as James opens with Just a Lover, the deeper of his electronic pop songs. Although James’ show inevitably centred on his three or four main tracks – Permission to Love, Just Friends and Something About You, each one was a development project by James who added extended percussion, vocals and synths. The extra live instrumentation created the feeling that each song was unique to the show. James demonstrated his wide ranging skills by playing the guitar and drums, which engaged the crowd. James catchy yet genuine tunes, drove the atmosphere to see everyone in the room dancing.

Mitch Lowe Photo - Mountain Sounds 2018-31

James newer songs like Just Friends and NUMB, are reminiscent of Flume and James has surely solidified himself amongst Australia’s best producers and electronic artists. A few seconds of Something About You was scattered throughout his entire set, the crowd erupting with excitement each and every time. Finally, James delivered his top song, introduced by a skillful weaving in of Rufus’ Innerbloom. His performance was complemented by a mesmerising, maze runner like light show which bounced off the blue ceiling of the Forum, eliminating time and space within the venue.

Overall, James was able to navigate the intimate setting of the Forum and deliver to his dedicated core group of followers that hung off his every move.