Illenium tears the roof off of Villa

Illenium, expectedly but still surprisingly blew the minds of Australians last weekend.

Will Marsh


aking his way into the electronic music scene all the way back in 2013, Nicholas Miller, a.k.a Illenium, has succeeded in making quite the name for himself. Renowned as one of the best trap producers in the game, Miler has gone from making small-time remixes to playing mainstage at festivals as big as EDC Las Vegas, and selling out shows all over the world.

A producer who’ll always have a place in my heart, I can remember scrolling through YouTube in the early days of 2016 and coming across some of this mans unbelievable remixes. ‘Disarm You’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ to name a few, the likes of which I instantly fell in love with.

 Illenium’s smooth, melodic sounds were like none other I’d come across before, and I found myself captivated by his music, anxiously waiting for his next song to appear, and it’s honestly hard to express just how excited I was once I saw he was making the huge fuck off journey down to Australia for his debut tour.

A sold-out show is a bit of a rarity in Perth these days, and I was pleased to see Villa packed to the rafters for what would be, in my mind, one of the shows of the year.

Stepping onto the stage before the big man himself was Illenium’s hand-picked international support, Dabin. Coming all the way from Canada, Dabin’s smooth trap beats set the crowd up very nicely for the main event. His live elements were incorporated fantastically, and seeing him jam on his guitar, keyboard and launchpad helped add that extra ‘wow’ factor. His set was very well received by the packed out crowd, and it’s safe to say that everyone there was more than happy to receive an hour’s worth of Dabin.

Illeniums support - Dabin

After what felt like an eternity, I finally saw one of my favourite music producers step up onto the stage. Excited silence filled Villa as everyone waited anxiously for him to begin. Opening with one of the biggest, heart-wrenching songs from his ‘Awake’ album, ‘Crawl Outta Love’, we were given an insight into the incredibly visual journey we were about to be taken on. This wasn’t just about the music, this was a sensory overload at its finest.

Villa Nightclub - Perth

The production was unlike anything I’ve seen before, and undoubtedly deserves a paragraph of its own. His set opened to show a girl walking slowly along a beautifully detailed beach, before effortlessly transitioning into a background illuminated by fire, hurling flaming phoenix’s and symbols at the crowd as the intensity of the music accelerated. From then on it was hard to keep up. We were pulled through jungles, across beaches and over mountains, guided on our way by mysterious burning sentinels, shrouded in pink flames. Mystic figures appeared at will, throwing symbols across the screen, breaking out of chains, moving their way through pristine environments. 

I get that it sounds like I’ve literally just described an acid trip, but honestly, it’s the closest I can come to forming any clear explanation of what was actually going on. 

His mixing abilities also stood out as fantastic. You could hardly tell when he was about to transition from one song to the other, and he constantly interchanged between smooth trap and heavy dubstep so comfortably that you barely had time to process what was going on before ‘Throwin Elbows’ was blaring from the speakers. 

As an element of his show, his live performance didn’t particularly stand out. It consisted primarily of him utilising a drum pad to incorporate particular beats into his songs, but it seemed like there wouldn’t have bene much difference had he just come out and done a DJ set, but it was definitely interesting to watch at the very least. 

There’s no doubt that Illenium would consider his first ever time Down Under a success, selling out every single show, and I can only hope that we made a good enough impression for him to want to come back, really fucking soon.