On a blustery Wednesday night in Denver, some of our Ninjas were treated to an intimate live set from one of Australia’s most revered electronic exports, Chet Faker, and the sold out crowd in attendance at the Bluebird Theater weren’t slighted in the least. An early set from NYC’s Antonio Cuna, who is much more readily recognized under his alias Sweater Beats, lit the stage wonderfully while tuning the pre-packed venue’s collective cochlear cavities for what was to come. Sweater Beats paced us with a veritable smattering of his own breezy two-step and four-four bass rhythms, leaving the perfect amount of vibe on the floor for the night’s main event while stoking what seemed to be a very well educated crowd of music minds.
When the house lights came down, and a collective pandemonium seemed to consume our congregation’s psyche, we quickly and clearly realized why a majority of the crowd left the comfort of their couches on a Wednesday night. It’s pretty safe to say that since our first collision with Nicholas Murphy back in 2011, along with the 2012 pensive soundscape that was the Thinking Textures EP, and most recently the incredible Chet Faker debut long player Built on Glass; we’d been patiently waiting for this moment for years. Immediately, an incredibly inviting atmosphere drew most attendees’ attention center stage to Chet Faker, who tonight was playing just a one-man set rather than the live projects we’ve been seeing over the last few years involving guitar, bass and drums. No, tonight it was a stripped down MIDI controller, an intimidating Akai MPC machine which must’ve been loaded with literally thousands of samples, functioning as much of the concert’s center piece and Murphy’s haunting, melancholic yet syrupy sweet vocal chords. Not even an expensive lighting or stage rigging setup, just a simple set, one man, an army of electronics and the house lights. He toyed with his fans right off the bat, seeming to tune and shape beats out of thin air off of his gadgetry strewn table, and before we realized Chet Faker was actually cobbling together whole pieces and drum patterns from his library, “I’m Into You’” had suddenly been fully formulated and we were thrown headfirst into the hour long instrumental assemblage.
Chet Faker rolled through tried and true tunes like Flume collaborations “Drop The Game” and “Left Alone”, Thinking In Textures favorites “Cigarettes and Chocolate” and “Everything I Wanted”, and even his chart defining cover of “No Diggity”, which had the packed house doing their best Blackstreet impersonations when we were tasked with carrying its chorus; before rounding out with a heaping dose of Built On Glass selections. The effort, or lack thereof, with which Chet Faker strung highs and lows together was truly a sight to behold and by the time the encore of “Talk Is Cheap” took us home, it felt as if this quaint sea of people were very figuratively eating out of his palm.
It was another lovely night of live music for us, a truly sonic journey and a perfect way to satisfy our Chet Faker fix… for maybe another year.