“900 people? That’s fucking cozy. Turn the AC off, I wanna get sweaty,” said Chet Faker. Usually, that would come off as cheese-ball—a party trick at a Girl Talk show. Only a few songs into his set at the sold-out Paradise, this offhand line became a part of Chet’s earnestness, another way to erase walls between performer and audience. The soul crooner from Melbourne was clearly a master of crowd seduction.

Since a lot of Chet’s jams are perfect for reading, boning and 3AM contemplation, I wasn’t sure how they would translate live. Luckily, his charisma is just as apparent in headphones as it is on stage.

The crowd captivation started becoming full-blown with “I’m Into You,” a standout track from his first EP. Chet bounced around, punching his MPC feverishly while contorting his body like a question mark. Pinballing between making beats and playing the keys, he casually belted out, “I got a feeling we are gonna win/ our bodies make it perfect/ and your eyes can make me swim.” Needless to say, your girlfriend was impressed.

After a few older songs, he soon got into material from Built Like Glass, his proper debut that dropped last month. “1998” is a perfect example of his growth as a songwriter, and it translated well at the Dise: it starts quiet, almost with a kind of misdirection. The early moments sound Mount Kimbie-ish, with building samples that lead to a driving synth—and then there’s that voice.

The live version stuck pretty close to the script, but it was punctuated with flourishes—crashing sounds, ping-ponging drums, and other random noises—that made it resemble a remix.

Towards the end of the night, he gleefully busted out his blue-eyed soul cover of “No Diggity,” the song that got him started only a few years ago. The two tank top wearing bros in front of me who resembled the Winklevoss twins geeked out, as did the rest of the Dise. I can’t front—I was right there with them.

Chet was chatty throughout. The show was part of the Together festival, and he almost acted as a spokesman for the virtues of good electronic tunes. “I think it’s important to fuck up onstage, to play real instruments,” he said. This could have been a sound bite from a panel, but it was just Chet dropping Aussie wisdom.

This was more than just twisting nobs and pushing buttons. It was soul music, pure and simple.


George knows that Wu Tang rules everything around him. His interests include freestyling on fairways, gourmet snacking and neck-breaking beats.

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