To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to Chet Faker as much as I’d have liked. After the overwhelming energy of performances at the Melbourne leg of St Jerome’s Laneway festival over the weekend prior, I was expecting a deadpan, unresponsive Chet, reminiscent of all the press releases and live videos found while trying not to study – how could that be a suitable follow-up?
Holy unprecedentedly good performance Batman, boy was I wrong. Emerging, literally jumping onto stage with a smile on his face bigger than his schedule over the next 5 months, and blasting a massive version of Release Your Problems with his tremendous backing , this was not the same Chet Faker I had known or seen. Demonstrating his eclectic musical range from glossy guitar work highlighted by punchy pad pushing – I finally understood the tremendous hype that surrounded the man, the music and the luscious facial hair.
His banter was as engaging and interesting as his musical hypnosis – after staying true to his roots and thanking all who caught him the last time round in Canberra some 3 years ago, he argued the point with the audience that watching the show through their phone screen probably wasn’t the best way to enjoy live music, urging them to put them away and imploring them to check out local bands to “find their new favourite song.”
I couldn’t have timed my actions any worse because I was about to pull my phone out for No Diggity.. I have to thank him though, as it made the night all the more worthwhile. 1998 and Drop The Game went off as expected, as did pretty much the entire back catalogue of songs played throughout. Closing with a soulful, heartfelt solo rendition of Talk Is Cheap accompanied by Clavier, all in the room could consider themselves blessed by catching the first stop of a blockbuster tour. Good as Gold.