Surfacing from the depths of a small inner Sydney home in 2004, Future Classic has since transformed the music industry. Acting as a base for the newest and next best sounds of the Australian music scene, the family has grown and nurtured world renowned artists such as Flume, Chet Faker & Flight Facilities – And it was all for show on their 10th birthday. In collaboration with Vivid LIVE & the Sydney Opera House, Future Classic founders Nathan McLay, Jay Ryves & Chad Gillard were granted the chance to celebrate their success in front of over 4000 fans and a view of the Harbour Bridge. Having engaged with a small audience in a chat about the label and what is has become on the eve of their illustrious milestone, there was an obvious excitement running through the air as they began to unpack how their empire built from the ground up.
With a lineup consisting of Touch Sensitive, Hayden James, Seekae, Flight Facilities & Flume, the day once antics were plentiful. It was a gorgeously sunny day with clouds peering just above the Harbour Bridge, setting a scene that was both mystical and entrancing. With a couple artists including Jimmy2Sox of Flight Facilities roaming around during the early stages of the afternoon, a hospitable atmosphere was firmly set as fans made the most of the small window of opportunities they had to meet their favourite musicians.
Following the release of his 2004 debut single ‘Body Stop’ under the Future Classic label, there was no one more suitable to begin the celebrations than Michael DiFrancesco, better known as Touch Sensitive. The most captivating component of his live set and musical style in general is undeniably his incorporation of the bass guitar. Bringing slight tinges from Van She, another project he use to actively work on, the reminiscent tones gave the mob of supporters flooding in something to boogie to. Luckily enough, this wouldn’t be the last we saw of the Pizza Guy over the next two nights as he joined George Maple on stage the following day.
Blessed with the sunset set (haha), Hayden James did no wrong. Hypnotising music enthusiasts with his dreamy synth pop tunes such as his mid-2013 hit ‘Permission to Love’, he quickly caught the attention of fans who had their sights set on the Sydney harbour landscape. Busting out his newest single ‘Something About You’ as his last song, he also exclusively played the ODESZA remix, which is yet to be released. If this was anything to stand by, the rest of the evening would be totally magical.
The dynamic trio had arguably the toughest time slot of the day. As the Northern Boardwalk filled up to it’s brims with fans passionately anticipating the fast approaching sets of Flight Facilities & Flume, Seekae successfully kept the excitement alive. Led by the allure of Alex Cameron’s slick singing, Seekae established an ominous mood with songs like ‘Test & Recognise’ as the moon shone through the creeping clouds of the Sydney sky and the lights of Vivid fluttered across the harbour.
At this point, Kurt Kristen and the beloved Owl Eyes may as well be a part of Flight Facilities. After touring the past year as a quartet, the chemistry they’ve formed makes for a seductive performance. With an unrivaled beginning to a live set, making it seem as if the crowd is on a plane – ready to take off on the flight of their lives, Jimmy & Hugo appear as your pilots, emerging from the concealment of their onstage rig.
When Owl Eyes gracefully requests that you light up the crowd with your phone flashlights, you tend not to ignore her. For those of you who’ve played a part in one of these, this is what it you fireflies look like from their perspective. On night two, the lovely George Maple joined the boys on stage to play the infamous ‘Foreign Language’, a song she featured on when she went by her real name Jess Higgs (expect it to happen again at Splendour in the Grass!) However, the biggest feature of the whole night was most certainly Julian Hamilton from The Presets playing the keyboard during ‘Heart Attack’. It was a spectacle that won’t be forgotten for the ages.
We last saw him at what was possibly the final installment of Big Day Out back in January 2014, but he has finally returned. Exclusively playing for the Future Classic party, these two nights would be the only time Australia would see his face in 2015. Since entering his track ‘Sleepless’ in the Future Classic Soundcloud contest in 2011, and coming second – as mentioned by Gillard from FC, Harley Streten has been on the rise not only in Australia, but on a global scale. Bringing out a multitude of collaborations including Isabella Manfredi of The Preatures & Marcus from Collarbones, Flume’s comeback set was nothing but perfection. Along with the Sound Advice talk the night before the celebrations, Flume’s newest song ‘Some Minds’ ft. Andrew Wyatt from Miike Snow blew the internet up, with over one million collective Youtube views in just under a week. Presenting it live for the first time, Wyatt joined Flume on stage, wrapping the enthralled crowd in a cocoon and getting them to gyrate with the flow of his fervent vocals.
Day two, more or less consisted of the same rapturous ambience, this time with Charles Murdoch, George Maple (read our review of her show at the OAF here!) & Wave Racer taking up the first three sets. In addition to that, there were a couple nice video messages from artists such as Chris Baio from Vampire Weekend, Little Dragon & Chrome Sparks wishing the Future Classic family a happy 10th birthday.
All in all, despite FCX being one of the greatest parties of 2015, you still have plenty of opportunities to see these artists throughout the year. Not only will some of them announce tours towards the end of the year, a couple are playing at festivals like Splendour in the Grass!