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Chet Faker At Jimmy Kimmel Live, Wednesday April 22nd 2015

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Chet Faker

I wanted to attend Alabama Shakes’ mini outdoor concert that they recorded for Jimmy Kimmel Live, but it was already sold out, so instead I registered for their next concert with Chet Faker,… why not? I have heard about him a lot and never really care enough or find the time to listen to his music…

Attending the JKL’s mini concert is always like going through airport security, they don’t even allow purses for girls, and of course cameras are not permitted… except that I sneaked one in; after all I don’t see the difference between a camera and the latest iPhone version, which takes excellent pictures, so I don’t feel guilty of anything.

After watching the taping of tonight’s Jimmy Kimmel episode (with the obnoxious Dr. Phil and boxer Manny Pacquiao), Chet Faker arrived on stage and, as it is usually the case for the Jimmy Kimmel show, played two songs recorded for TV, then 3 more for the crowd’s unique pleasure… it is truly a mini concert and five songs is not a lot to get a full impression of someone’s music, so I may need more exposure to Mr. Faker’s art to get totally convinced, but I could tell that his ethereal electronic vague-R&B soul knew what to do to conquer the young crowds. I was surrounded by a lot of very young girls and boys, but mostly girls and I witnessed a deep connection between a performer and his audience.

His short set started with a lot of clapping during the catchy ‘Gold’ and ended up with a full sing-alongs during ‘Talk is Cheap’, and it took me a few minutes to realize what this guy was after: stripped down music to bring up intimacy, and entirely audible vocals to bring emotion. The Australian singer – and I have been on an Aussie ride lately, after Nick Cave and Tame Impala’s Cameron Avery, now his guy – also likes a bit of mystery, since Chet Faker sounds much more exotic and funnier than Nick Murphy, his real name

Wearing a black beanie, a black jacket — the type that skateboarders wear — and glowing white sneakers, he looked happy and relaxed while moving his arms in all directions, and sketching artful dance steps. There was also a lot of honest sensuality in the soulful electro-synth of his album ‘Built on Glass’, and not the forced type you often encounter. Rather, he appeared as someone sincere, approaching his performance like a sportive exchange, almost jogging, boxing the air or an imaginary adversary.

Any set during the Jimmy Kimmel show, is chunked into small parts, and after the first song, the set stopped for a commercial break while people were bringing more instruments, more synth on stage for ‘1998’, a light electro dance repeating ‘we used to be friends’ over sparse beats and a very minimal music, but more searching for an ambiance than turning into a real dance floor. There were more beats during ‘Melt’, but again, it was more about ready-for-the-bedroom textures than anything else.

Can we include Chet Faker into the crooner category? ‘During ‘To Me’, he had all the attributes despite the repetitiveness of the song, and this was even truer during the very intimate ‘Talk is Cheap’: he was sitting at the keyboard but the whole crowd was singing with him… Again, this type of mellow bedroom soul electronica à la James Blake is not really my thing, but Faker was not faking anything despite his curious moniker.

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