There is no doubt that seeing Mr Carmack’s live set at Jack Rabbit Slim’s was a unique kind of experience for a large part of his Perth audience. Going in to the show, I was well aware of the talent of Carmack as a producer – having been an admirer of his for some time. But seeing him live gave me the chance to appreciate the multi-instrumentalist on a whole new level as we saw him sing, play the keyboard, use percussion and even play a tune or two on the trumpet. He was also accompanied by a talented guitarist that additionally made use of various effect pedals.
His set started off with complete ambiance – using simple but effective sounds from just his voice and the keyboard to set the foundation for what was yet to come. This was paired visually with simple, monochromatic lights that were only just bright enough to be able to see exactly what was happening on stage. Throughout the night, we heard many of his heavier trap songs from his various EP’s (like Bang, Melodies and Vibes just to name a few) being completely transformed to fit his live performance and the jazzier theme of the show.
It was very special indeed to be able to recognise songs but hear them changed so creatively, transforming genres altogether. Hearing these songs live , often having their usual heavier bass lines taken away, gave us the chance to appreciate the more melodic side of his music. Of course, many of his more well known songs like Tuesday and Pay (For What) were transformed less so and played to resemble their original forms as they are absolute crowd pleasers and the audience’s response definitely showed this.
There was not a single moment that was not filled with sound – he had a special way of tying in his songs together seamlessly to create a continual flow that lasted the duration of the performance. All of this was followed by a fun DJ set that most definitely had the crowd moving – as heavier bass lines were reintroduced and people were again experiencing what they are more familiar with.
Seeing Mr Carmack was an absolute privilege, the fact that every single face in the audience was a happy one says a lot about the quality of his performance. There were so many moments of magic throughout the show, the kind of moments that make you feel like everything is going to be more than ok.
Written By: Leena Fogarty