Concert Review: Chet Faker at Forum Melbourne

Since I moved to Melbourne, I've been to quite a few gigs and events. There's just something about the vibe and culture of this wondrous city. There's always something happening. Last weekend, Chet Faker kicked off his Australian tour with a sold-out show and I was there to enjoy the performance in his hometown.

Chet Faker at Forum Melbourne

Chet Faker aka Nicholas Murphy is a an independent artist. Don’t believe me? Just ask him. But if you can’t get that close to him, the next best thing is for you to attend his live shows and he will tell you himself.

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Chet Faker’s first show at Forum Melbourne, kicking off his current Australian tour. After cancelling his first two scheduled shows due to “lingering laryngitis”, Chet felt better last Saturday to get on the road.

But being “born and raised in this beautiful city” of Melbourne, he didn’t have far to go for his first show. Kicking off with ’01 Archangel’ and ‘I’m Into You’, Chet stopped for a minute to address all the punters with their smartphones out. “You can take photos and videos for the next few songs, but later, I’m gonna call you out because you all should be experiencing music the way it should be experienced.” Right on.

Sipping on ginger lemon tea and water to soothe his sore throat, Chet went right back into his set singing songs from his debut album and latest release, “Built on Glass”, as well as old favourites from his EP, “Thinking in Textures”.

Chet reserved a special spot in his set to basically do whatever he wanted in that moment or as he explained it: “A true musician is one that can fuck-up on stage, otherwise it’s too safe. I hope you enjoy my fuck-ups [sic].” What Chet Faker really did was an ethereal experimentation of samples and beats live on stage, something he later described as “our song”. Sweet.

Stand-outs of the night included ‘1998’, ‘Release Your Problems’, ‘Love and Feeling’, and a beautiful cover of Jeff Buckley’s ‘I Want Someone Badly’. I would like to petition for Chet to release his cover of Buckley’s track. A seriously stunning performance.

After a slew of songs and sing-a-longs, Chet took a moment to thank his fans: “I’m an independent artist. That means I write my own music, I produce my own music, I record my own music and I perform my own music. Plus I make ever damn creative decision so thank you very much for all your support, now let’s take it back to when it all started…” And so that cued the lights for ‘No Diggity’. You can’t help but sing along to this tune, whether it be Chet’s slowed down version or the original from Blackstreet. Everyone loves it! And with the energy booming throughout the entire venue, Chet closed his set with his collaboration track with Flume, ‘Drop The Game’.

Returning for an encore, Chet came back on stage with all smiles, ready to to perform ‘Dead Body’ and a stripped-back performance of ‘Talk is Cheap’.

This was my first time seeing the bearded musician play a live show in its entirety. Sure, I’ve seen him at festivals or as support for another artist; but this time it was all about him as he performed his own headline show and I am so glad I was in attendance for it.

Personally, “/” affected me in a big way. Hearing Chet perform the track live made me feel like I was hearing the song for the very first time, and all of my emotions got mixed up in with the honesty in his vocals and songwriting. The hook of “You’re giving it all for nothing” just rang over and over in my head. I’ve definitely been feeling that way lately, and as Chet repeated those words over and over, he was just reinforcing what I was feeling. Chet Faker evoked my emotions in a major way that night. Damn. Lucky, it was dark in there.

90 minutes later and the show was over. I wish I could re-live it every Saturday night – honestly. I couldn’t fault anything about this show. Until next time, Chet.

*Chet Faker is currently touring around Australia. Check out his website for details.