Live Review: Flight Facilities With Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, George Maple

19 October 2015 | 12:28 pm | Taylor Yates

"All the guest singers come on stage and dance along, glittering firework displays behind them - it's quite a magical experience."

Pic by David Harris

Pic by David Harris

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Excitement is in the air at one of the most anticipated gigs of the Melbourne Festival 2015 — Flight Facilities are playing a one-time show with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) — and with a sold out 12,000-person crowd, including a live stream into Federation Square, expectations are high to say the least.

George Maple kicks things off and it immediately becomes evident that although her voice is fantastic — deep and soulful — she struggles with the large stage and is a bit out of her depth.

Next, MSO take to the stage followed by conductor/composer Davide Rossi. They begin with Intro, and Flight Facilities appear in their usual getup as airplane captains. After a stunning instrumental piece, George Maple returns for Stand Still. The light show is amazing at this point, and George Maple sounds great with a full orchestra behind her, a total turnaround.

After not too long, Reggie Watts appears for Sunshine, a tune that gets the crowd on their feet and moving, as Watts works the stage like he owns it. Emma Louise follows with Two Bodies including an extended intro by the MSO, and Owl Eyes then arrives to perform I Didn't Believe and Crave You. Katie Noonan is next up boasting soaring head voice; meanwhile, Nick Broadhurst is cameoing all throughout playing the sax. Then Owl Eyes is back for the moment we've all been waiting for — Clair De Lune. This song is by far the highlight of the night. The dreamy, swirling violin tones are brought to life by the MSO and it is captivating — and not just sonically. Midway, Owl Eyes gets us all to take out our lighters and phones, and the stage lights dim, making the crowd look like a glowing web of human fairy lights. She sings the last few lines alone in the still pitch black arena — it's gorgeously delicate yet haunting at the same time.

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Just when we thought it was over, Rossi returns to conduct one final song, and the screams are deafening. The final tune is Flight Facilities' remix of The C90s' Shine A Light, for which Flight Facilities' own James Lyell takes over on the vocals. All the guest singers come on stage and dance along, glittering firework displays behind them — it's quite a magical experience. It all ends too soon and after everyone bows together off the stage, we're all left wanting more. Until next time, Flight Facilities.