Disclosure performed at the Festival Hall in Melbourne last week, while in town to headline at beloved new years event Falls Festival. Turning their back on any possible claims regarding the validity of house music in the live setting, the Howard brothers went above and beyond with their visually and sonically brilliant set.
The last time I saw support act Hayden James perform, was in a tiny, packed club with little room to dance let alone sit down. As his opening set began though, it made sense for him to be supporting Disclosure. His live set incorporated live percussion to add sonic texture, alongside a small light show; James’ prowess on stage was the first of many surprises of the night.
Disclosure hit the ground running with White Noise. Blending live instrumentation with pre-recorded production, it sounded so on point, and the frenzied crowd lapped it up. The reaction from the audience earned us the attention from older brother Guy Howard, who noted that Melbourne is one of their favourite Australian cities.
While tracks taken from their latest album, Caracal, were some of the highlights of the night, these were split up by tracks from debut release Settle, the hits of which, of course, resonated the strongest.
It wasn’t until midway through their set, however, when things began to get really impressive. Bang That, immediately followed by When a Fire Starts to Burn, set the entire venue wild. But it didn’t stop there.
Known for pulling collaborators up on stage, we had assumed that Brendan Reilly was the night’s sole guest, as he had joined the band on stage at Falls Festival. So, imagine our surprise when when Lionbabe stepped out on stage for Hourglass. While a smaller artist in her own right, Lionbabe’s immense stage presence, complete with erratic dancing and powerhouse vocals, commanded the crowd’s full attention.
After the boys disappear and return for their obligatory encore, Reilly indeed join them again, for a powerful rendition of Moving Mountains.
The pair acknowledge the audience once more towards the end, stating that this was the biggest melbourne show they’ve played so far. “Even you guys way on the sides, we know you’ve been dancing too!” We all know what’s coming next, but that doesn’t stop a sizeable group in the audience screaming for Latch. “I think we better fucking play it,” Guy says to his brother, before launching into the song of their career.
As the show draws to a close, there’s a tangible feeling of excitement left in the air. Disclosure have created something wholly unique within the genres they play with. Digestible yet detailed house that neither bores seasoned fans, nor is hard to digest for the casual listener. It’s never been clearer that they’re just getting started.