Concert Review: Chet Faker in Vancouver

Chet Faker came to Vancouver and gave me everything I wanted. Easing into chilled-out, neo-soul tracks, the crowd’s urge to move was tangibly repressed in Faker’s showing of controlled production and musicianship that built up to electronic soul stand outs “1998,” “Drop the Game” and the two song encore everyone was waiting for.

September 22 saw the Australian artist at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom. You wouldn’t be able to tell it was a Monday from the full, beer-soaked venue. With good time still before opener StarRo hit the stage, dozens of keen fans were already seated on the ever-sticky dance floor, oblivious or uncaring as long as it meant being up front and center for the sold out show.

Chet Faker took the stage and looped up an intro before playing a pared down and stretched out rendition of “Blush,” a track off his debut studio album, “Built on Glass,” that was released in April 2014 through Australian independent record label, Future Classic.

Red lights washed over the stage, occupied only by Faker and his set up. The throng screamed at the first discernible chord of “1998,” throwing themselves into the palm of Faker’s hand and holding on for dear life through “I’m Into You” and “Terms and Conditions,” hardly noticing when the chorus took a blurry, overly bass-y turn for the worse that luckily didn’t last long.

Midway through his set, Faker stood in front of his set up and addressed the crowd: “If you want a photo, now is the time to do it.” With a few expletives thrown in for good measure, he conducted his photo opportunity so that the audience could get their Proof of a Good Time, and get on with enjoying the show. In the same vein earlier this summer, Faker asked via Instagram: “Pop quiz…what is more important than capturing a moment?” in response to a fan who was upset at having their phone grabbed by the artist and returned without so much as a selfie to show for it.

Faker then launched into “No Diggity,” the cover track that first drew attention to the Aussie in 2011 and was later used in a Superbowl commercial for Beck’s Sapphire beer, and “Drop the Game,” a track co-produced by Flume for their collaborative Lockjaw EP, and completed on Monday with the audience shouting along to the bass melody.

He skillfully reigned us back in for “To Me,” so tenderly delivered that a few lighters came waving out and phones stayed respectfully out of sight – everyone having a quiet moment, letting the horns pull them further into the track’s minimalist poignancy.

The encore’s garbled introduction was, I’m sure, something about the rollerbladers of Vancouver being almost as sexy as those in the video for “Gold,” Faker’s latest single and Part One of the show’s encore.

Faker sat back at the keyboard while the crowd rode out the high from “Gold,” to finish off what was a strong set with “Talk is Cheap.”

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