REVIEW: Hayden James at Oxford Art Factory, Sydney

Hayden James brought his Something About You tour to his hometown of Sydney on Friday night, playing to a sold-out crowd in the sweaty confines of the Oxford Art Factory.

James took to the stage after a solid opener by Mickey Kojak, a neon sign lighting up his name below the decks (it changed colour, though the show kicked off in baby pink) in front of a kaleidoscopic screen of slow-moving graphics. Over a 1-and-a-half hour set, James exercised fun and originality intertwining his signature mellow synths and slow, deep-house beats with everything from Kendrick Lamar’s Swimming Pool to his sensual, soothing version of Dillon Francis’ Without You.

The crowd seemed to be made up of fans that have followed James from the get-go, dating back to initial hit Permission To Love released in 2013, judging by the crazy cheer when he announced it. Fellow Future Classic artist Flume made a cameo with a densely layered version of breakout single You and Me. James tended to favor fellow Aussie tunes throughout the set, including a nod to Rufus who he supported on their sell-out Australian tour in 2014, as well as Alison Wonderland. James also opened for Odesza on their 2014 North American tour, prefacing his most recent single and final song of the night, Something About You with a remix of Say My Name.

At this point, in a sweet yet possibly not overly thought-through move, James invited the crowd to jump on stage with him and obviously, they obliged. His decks were on a wheeled table, so he may have regretted the invitation once the stage became a jumping orgy of over-excited fans threatening to send his equipment flying. Guy must really love them to prioritize their fun over a little old insurance/OH&S hazard.


Originally published on The Interns