Last Thursday, French multi-instrumentalist FKJ took the stage at CentralWorld Live for his 2023 Asia tour, performing a setlist of 17 tracks that had the audience filled with joie de vivre.

As the first of three opening acts, Thai-Indie band H3F kicked off the night with their number one hit, How Can I, followed by You, a mellow love song with a hook that had everyone waving their hands. Benjamin Varney performed his collaborative single Cultivation with the band before the warm-up session ended with an impressive guitar solo.

Yuu, the second curtain-raiser of the night, walked onto stage to his DJ set quietly, and I first mistook him for one of the sound crew doing the final checks for the artists. However, as soon as he started playing, his experimental electronic music brought the room to life. Though the soundscape was intense and unfamiliar to some, his morlamsing remix cut through the confusion and did more than enough to make sure that everyone swayed to the rhythm.

Hybs closed the opening act part with a bang, delivering hits like Ride and Killer. The crowd was completely spellbound. I could see fans dancing while holding their phones, probably recording their Insta stories, as suggested by the song Dancing With My Phone. Before leaving, the duo spoke on behalf of the crowd to welcome FKJ and hyped up the crowd.

As the lights dimmed and the crowd screamed, FKJ made his grand entrance, with ASMR-like sounds perfectly synchronised with his movements, from walking, pouring and drinking water to getting comfy on a leather sofa. Yes, a sofa, not to mention floor lamps and a record player. He described the homely stage setting as his “little basement”, which was a throwback to his Ylang Ylang EP Live Session on his YouTube channel. 

After he dropped a pin on the vinyl record, the groovy intro started to roll. He moved back and forth between the sofa and record player to fix a sound hiccup, which we all know was intended. He stopped for a quick greeting before welcoming his partner in crime, Seth Tackaberry (bassist) and Arjun Dube (drummer), both arriving on stage to the sound of an elevator.

The trio kicked off their concert with the soulful Skyline, with FKJ working his magic on the keyboard and Tackaberry delivering an outstanding bass performance, resulting in a skilful sonic synchronisation. Tom Misch’s gentle acapella beatbox was thrown in at the intro of the following track, Losing My Way, which is one of FKJ’s most celebrated tracks that combines layers of looped instrumentation and percussion to create funky tunes. Before the song ended, he grabbed his saxophone for a sensational solo.

Risk, the collab song he made with Bas, came next, with the American rapper’s visuals playing on the screen behind the band with psychedelic effects. Up next were Us, Let’s Live and Way Out from his latest album V I N C E N T. Through a nonstop performance, where FKJ switched seamlessly between instruments, the songs effortlessly transitioned from one to the next despite their different genres, letting the crowd not only seep into the soundscapes but also pay full attention to the complex technicalities throughout the session. 

As the album was made during lockdown, FKJ gave us a heartfelt message during the concert to remind us of how resilient we were during the pandemic.  

He started playing Lying Together with a smooth transition on the screen to a rain-pouring visual while blue spotlights flashed from the stage. Rain-dropping and finger-snapping sounds were heard in the background to get the audience grooving before the slow-paced tracks 10 Years Ago, Vibin’ Out and New Life came on next.

100 Roses and Different Masks were next before the last song, Ylang Ylang, was performed. The crowd all knew that wasn’t the end, but it was fun to beg him to come back and screamed from the top of their lungs. 

After playing chart-toppers like Instant Need and Tadow for his encore, FKJ bid us au revoir with an instrumental rendition of Sundays. The room fell silent and became immersed in the piano solo accompanied by relaxing forest sounds in the background. 

The intimate vibe, FKJ’s instrumental genius and well-thought-out show made his second performance in Thailand a memorable one. 

*Photos courtesy of Very Company*

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here