Baths live in Sydney – Review
Adam Davis-Powell headed along to Oxford Art Factory to review/photograph Californian electronic musician Baths:
The first time I heard Baths was in July 2013, whilst on a short trip back to my good ol’ homeland of London. The track was ‘Hall’ from the 2010 album ‘Cerulean’. I thought to myself, “What is this deliciously delectably audible ear-candy that is penetrating my ear drums?”. A friend explained a brief history of Baths, to which I made note of, and went on my way. It wasn’t until a week or so later when I was going through ‘Notes’ on my phone and a lovely light bulb appeared above my head. From there, I went and did my standard online stalk to find out all I could about Will Wiesenfeld (Baths’ birth-name). He seemed like an interesting character, and his music was infectious. I pretty much hold Baths accountable for my newly embraced love with electronica.
Fast-forward six months, after sessioning, ‘Cerulean’ and 2013’s ‘Obsidian’ pretty much on repeat, I got a holy feed on my FB wall, “Baths is coming to Australia”. I went giddy when I found out this info.
Fast-forward another two months, and it’s gig day. I walk in as Rainbow Chan is a few songs into her set. There’s a good amount of people here to start this club night off with a bang, she has a smooth sound and the crowd’s reaction is positive. Collarbones are up next and do have a slightly more upbeat feel to them, the crowd is getting a lot more dense at this point, awaiting in anticipation for the headliner.
Wiesenfold strolls onto the stage, dead on 11.30pm, in front of what seems to be a basically sold-out room. The crowd give out an almighty roar to the first note he plays. I barely have enough time to neck my beer to get to the front of stage and take some photos before the whole dancefloor of OAF is contorting to his magical ambient beats. ‘Lovely Bloodflow’ is greeted with howls from audience members, and his falsetto vocals styles are literally hit pitch perfectly.
Wiesenfold is accompanied by newly appointed keyboard/guitarist, Morgan Greenwood. Sharing the stage with Greenwood definitely helps on what is quite a complex live show, allowing Wiesenfold to take on more of the lyrically driven songs.
As ‘Animals’ plays, most of the audience, eyes closed, are lost in Wiesenfold’s hypnotic charm and it’s a beautiful thing to watch. Two thirds of the way through the set the boys go on a tangent, as if they were in a dark and dishevelled basement making music for themselves and only themselves, but this isn’t to say the crowd didn’t lap up every note. The stand out track in the whole set was ‘No Eyes.’ It’s a simply beautiful song, with a contagious beat, and thought-provoking lyrics but the Aphex-Twin-Glitch-Esque bridge completely blows the crowd away, and leaves everyone begging for more.
This was a 10 out of 10 gig, appealing to dance and rock fans alike. If you get the chance to see him play – DO IT, and do yourself a favour, go buy 2013 album ‘Obsidian’. Sit on a beach or hill somewhere, and let your mind simply take you to a place you might not have known was possible without some sort of hallucinogen.
Baths live in Sydney review and pictures by Adam Davis-Powell.