Arts & Entertainment

Australian artist Chet Faker brought it all to Concord Music Hall

All photos by Alexandra Schmidt
All photos by Alexandra Schmidt

A dim purple aura filled Concord Music Hall (2047 N. Milwaukee Ave.) on Aug. 27. The crowd echoed in conversation, as everyone waited in anticipation for the show to start. The spotlights brightened as a shadow of a man with a bushy beard and a humble smile sauntered onto the stage. The crowd went wild with cheers of excitement, then went completely silent as Chet Faker put his mouth to the microphone.

Once Faker’s performance began, he left the crowd mesmerized with his soulful voice and electronic, edgy sound.

Faker’s sound is so diverse that is hard to place him in a specific genre or compare him to any other artist. Some have called him an electronica musician,but I would say that his music has more of a chill, house feel with a touch of indie rock.

Traveling all the way from Melbourne, Australia, is the 26-year-old Nicholas James Murphy, known to fans as Chet Faker, who thanked the audience for their support. Faker is on tour until late November, performing in the U.S, Canada, Europe and Australia.

Faker’s career kick-started with his cover of “No Diggity” by Blackstreet, which quickly became an Internet sensation in 2011. By 2012 Faker released his first EP, Thinking in Textures. That same year he won “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” at the Australian Independent Records Awards and “Best Independent Release” at the Rolling Stones Australia Awards.

Since then, Faker released his second album Built on Glass in April 2014, featuring popular songs “Gold,” “Blush,” “1998” and “Talk is Cheap.”

He has also worked on a number of pieces with Flume, including “This Song is Not About a Girl.”

Chet Faker played a perfect combination of old and new material from both of his albums during the performance.

One of the first songs he performed was “1998,” which consisted of him DJing on stage while softly singing, “We used to be friends, we used to be inner circle.” Faker’s lyrical content usually consists of his reflections on friendships and relationships, with a poetic and catchy rhythm. Everyone in the crowd was swaying from side to side to the solid beat, giving its full attention to his upbeat performance.

Each song he played had its own unique quality. He switched interchangeably from mixing music as a DJ, to singing, to bringing out the guitar and even playing the piano.

That is exactly what is most captivating about Faker: He is not a one-dimensional talented artist, continually playing it safe. He incorporates different elements of sound and talent into his performances ultimately showing his depth as a gifted artist.

One of the best songs was “Gold.” His confidence shined through his vocals and from the way he engaged and interacted with the crowd by getting everyone to clap to the beat of the song.

Before performing Black Street’s original  “No Diggity,” Faker told the crowd to listen to the music and live in the moment without any cell phones or cameras, and to “put that shit away.” Doing as he said, mostly everyone in the crowd put their phone away– instead, everyone was dancing and having a good time.

Faker closed the show on a powerful, passionate note with “Talk is Cheap.” The track included some of Faker’s more romantic lyrics such as, “talk is cheap, my darling, when you’re feeling right at home / I wanna make you move with confidence, I wanna be with you alone.”

After seeing Chet Faker live, it is clear that he will continue on his path of success while maintaining a genuine and humble attitude. His show only reiterated the fact he is well on his way to becoming a new, classic artist.

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