Brisbane River Stage
Over the last few years Chet Faker ( real name Nicolas James Murphy) has gone from virtual obscurity to being one of the biggest names in Australian music. First appearing on the scene in 2012 the electronica musician has been nominated for a swag of awards and has had his cover of BlackStreet’s ‘ No Diggity’ feature in a Superbowl commercial.
Tonight he is here to entertain the Brisbane masses under the stars at the open air River Stage, to a packed arena. With his trademark beard almost gone Faker takes to the stage to perform songs from his EP and album. He even manages to throw in a Carpenters cover, slowing it right down but the young crowd are not old enough to know the timeless classic and it goes largely ignored. It’s a strange song choice and makes little sense as to why he is even singing it. Equally so with ‘ No diggity’ the classic Blackstreet song. It’s an R& B song that was released long before any of the weed smoking hipsters in the crowd were even born and why an electronic beat has been added is confusing, but the hipsters don’t seem to mind.
Not bothering to speak much or engage with the crowd, Faker prefers to just get down to business and play music. Inviting various guests on stage to play along side him he dances around in a trance like state, in a bubble of his own self importance. It is a little disappointing that he makes no effort to connect or talk and his lack of stage presence high lights the fact that he’s not really an entertainer. Song tends to blend into song at times and the over dramatic lighting is the only thing that punctuates the end of a number. Predictably the stage lights yellow for the song ‘Gold’ in an almost blinding haze.
The crowd does not seem to mind and on this is for certain, Faker does have a great voice. There are a lot of bells and whistles to pump it all up, but technically his voice can’t be faulted. When he does take a moment to strip back all the over produced electronica his music shows shades of brilliance, and a simple piano number towards the end of the set is really enjoyable. However it is his inability or unwillingness to share anecdotes or engage the crowd is where the show falls flat. It comes across as shades of arrogance for the most part and lacks any real entertainment value.
Performing for just under an hour, the legion of fans that have come out tonight to worship this Hipster demi- God have thoroughly enjoyed themselves, many videoing the performance mostly just happy to sing along. The evening air laden with the smell of burning joints the mellow crowd has had a night to remember.