REVIEW: Elliphant | Howler, Melbourne

Written By Annie Cooper on 01/09/2016


Last week at Falls Festival, at the end of an uncomfortably hot, sweaty, 42 degree day, Elliphant managed to curate a killer set that lifted everyones spirits and had even the most exhausted punter dancing. Elliphant's provocative set was one of the most notable performances of the four day festival, so it was no wonder her sideshow at Howler was similarly explosive.

Intimate venues like Howler are always the ideal place to see artists live. There's nothing more exhilarating than being mere metres away from your favourite artist, but that was felt even more so for this performance. While small venues exude an atmosphere of togetherness, when an artist as buoyant as Elliphant takes the stage, it's hard not to feel a connection. Elliphant treats the stage like a playground, through her inviting music (which she herself has described as being "all over the place", in terms of genre), and her direct addresses to the audience, it's almost impossible not to feel personally involved.

From the moment she took the stage, it was clear that she was very happy to be there. Australia, as she explains, was the one country that accepted and relished her single Love Me Badder- "it flopped, it flopped so hard! All over the world!" she cried,  "You know where it didn't? In fucking Australia!". This was her one and only time to "feel this vibe, with this song", she expressed, and thus ensued one of the biggest sing-a-longs I had yet to witness. The crowd loved her, and as it happens, she loved us right back.

@elliphantmusic last night ??

A video posted by Ayeesha (@ayshagainstthemachine) on

Paired with her DJ, and back up vocalist Pellegrosso, the duo created a force to be reckoned with. The pair tore through their tracks with ease, with the Skrillex- produced Only Getting Younger garnering a considerable frenzied reaction from the crowd. At many times throughout the night, one or the other urged the crowd to move closer, and party harder, with Elliphant explaining that she wants us to get as into it as herself, as she "tries not to look so much, to stay in the moment". It wasn't necessary though, as the moment she broke into One More, the crowd became completely enthralled with her.

Though her set drew close to an hour, it flew by faster than I had expected. However, she had saved the best treat for last. Before playing Live Till I Die -a track she believes has an inappropriate vibe for a festival- Elliphant pulled two bewildered audience members on stage, who acted as her back up dancers for the track. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, around 20 more punters climbed up on stage for her final, and possibly most popular track, Major Lazer's Too Original- which closed the set in the most uniting, and heart warming way possible.