BY: BRIAN SEUCH // Nick Murphy played the 9:30 club in Washington DC Monday night (9/11) to an enthusiastic crowd who didn’t quite know what they were in for. The openers set the stage for the show with slow music that had the young tattooed audience happily swaying to the rhythm. Openers such as Charlotte Cardin were reminiscent of Chet Fakers earlier atmospheric music which displayed a quiet balance between electronic production and some rock influences. It was a great way to transition into Nick Murphy with the crowds excitement and energy slowly building throughout the sets.
When Nick Murphy made it on stage a little before 10pm, he came out with a bang. Opening songs featured intense strobe lights and deep rock chords being blasted from his DJ set while the band improvised around him. Throughout the night Nick Murphy showed his profound difference between the old Chet Faker and his new sound as Nick Murphy by relying on heavy rock with electronic support as opposed to the other way around. While Chet Faker would have been an EDMesque show, Nick Murphy was a rockstar. He casually played lead guitar with thumping bass lines and would then seamlessly transition to piano at times of great intensity to slow the night back down with his raw and emotional new music. This transition of character was exaggerated by his merchandise which all featured Chet Faker graves with Nick Murphy superimposed in front of them. A clear message to his fans that he will be diving headfirst into this new music and passion.
All in all while this was not a traditional show in any sense of the word, it was one of the most memorable I’ve seen. It’s not every concert that an artist can manipulate a crowds dancing one layer of instruments at a time and it most certainly felt like a journey the audience was being brought on. His intentional light setup flooded the room in saturated soft colors to further immerse the listener in the emotions he was portraying in the music. Nick Murphy may still be finding his sound and experimenting with what works for him, but his process is a true pleasure to watch.