Chet Faker Bass Camp Stage, Pemberton BC, July 18

Chet Faker Bass Camp Stage, Pemberton BC, July 18
Photo: Joshua Peter Grafstein
A solo DJ mix opened Chet Faker's evening set at Bass Camp before backing guitar and drums joined him onstage and rolled into an impromptu mix with clinking keys and offbeat synths. The gooey notes of "Melt" slipped off the stage, the backup vocals normally provided by Kilo Kish picked up in the plinks of guitar strings.
One of the first tracks he ever released, a cover of Blackstreet's "No Diggity," garnered massive crowd response — finally, after a very slow start — and its gritty outro was the perfect segue into "Drop the Game."  Pulling from his limited catalogue, Chet Faker seemed subdued, if not shy, during his performance, barely interacting with the crowd and retiring to the corners of the stage when he, on occasion, wandered off with the mic.
Despite his demeanour, watching the man mix was another experience, as he expertly crafted each song note by note, lyric by lyric, rather than playing from pre-recorded tracks. Last year's summer anthem "1998" finally pumped some much needed life into the set, though Faker's lacklustre stage presence worked against his strong musical output. The intimacy his music demands was often lost on an energized crowd looking for something more upbeat, especially while testing new tracks laden with simple piano and the occasional hit of bass.