Old friends Jordan Rakei and Louis Baker rose to the occasion at The Triffid (Brisbane) on Saturday night (17 August), as Brisbane Burger Fest drew to a close on the street outside.
There’s something about an aircraft hangar that makes you want to get airborne. I do believe Louis Baker is something of a pilot. Allow me to explain.
From the opening line of ‘Alive’, the heart begins to blossom. This guy commands you. Silken smooth vocals, all over the scale – I mean allllll over it. “I’ve been sleeping too long / I’ve been waiting too long for something, for something.”
The room is silent, soaking up the soul this man is secreting on stage. When you think John Mayer has destroyed the chances of one man, solo, with an electric guitar of every pleasing you again, this Louis Baker (you don’t say the ‘s’) brings the substance. Then it could have something to do with the white Nikes and Fender Strat.
In fact, this guy is like a distillation of John Mayer’s band: like DRH (David Ryan Harris), Isaiah Sharkey and both the backing singers took over the show for a minute, but keep a bit of the Mayer-chart-blazing pop-soul rhythm in their absolute fabric – confined to the body of a single human.
You can feel his roots of a half-American, half-New Zealand family woven together here in the set – soul and Pacific sea salt drizzled over slow-cooked lamb (stay with us vegans, I just wanted to highlight the meekness of this character).
Paying tribute to Prince, Louis breaks into ‘Purple Rain’, demonstrating how to hold a crowd in his outstretched arms without letting go of the guitar.
Jordan Rakei on the other hand, arrives with a full band and vast arrangements of his catalogue.
Perhaps more subdued versions of his tracks were on display tonight, but this could be representing the direction he has every right to take.
Jazz infused with pop, soul, and electronic ambience flowed from the stage and mingled with the souls in admiration of its existence.
Rakei played a lot of tracks from his latest album, ‘Origin’, (June 2019) - ‘Mantra’ enjoying a killer sax solo to close out the set before encore.
The sound for the entire show was superb, kudos to The Triffid and the engineers on duty.