Live Review: CAITI BAKER @ Yah Yah’s, 27.09.18
LIVE at Yah Yah’s, Fitzroy
27 / 09 / 18
Words by Sammy Perryman
Caiti Baker came through to Fitzroy’s Yah Yah’s on Thursday night for her second Melbourne show of the year, as a part of The B6 Tour. The national tour coincides with the release of the B6 project, a collection of songs that serve as an accompaniment to her debut album Zinc, with the tour finishing on Zinc’s one-year anniversary.
Caiti was supported by fellow Darwin artist Stevie Jean. At nineteen, her blend of alt-rock and contemporary blues is certainly a sound turning heads, becoming a finalist in Unearthed High last year with her debut single ‘Hell in Every Religion.’ With only an electric guitar, some effect pedals and a powerhouse voice, Stevie proved to be one hell of an opener. The pre-eight o’clock crowd wasn’t quite the rowdiest bunch, but that didn’t stop Stevie from entertaining the room with some light crowd-work and laidback alternative grooves that highlighted her amazing voice. For her first ever Melbourne show, as a part of her first ever national tour, it was pretty clear Stevie Jean is a name people should know; and in time I am sure they certainly will.
After a short intermission, it was time for Caiti Baker to take the Yah Yah’s band room by storm. She opened the set with a laidback, soul version of ‘Different,’ reminiscent of the track’s outro. Instantly, her unique and insanely powerful voice captured the attention of the quickly filling band room. It was her first time performing at Yah Yah’s and, for such a debut, the lighting and sound system was on point. I moved around the room a fair bit and I could always hear everything perfectly, with Caiti even giving props to the sound system during the set.
By the time Caiti Baker was performing ‘Rough Old Town’ the room was packed and people were really getting into it. Caiti said this would be the last time she would be touring with Zinc before making some new music, so the crowd didn’t want to miss out on grooving live to the distinct blues and hip-hop fusion that Zinc delivers. She was joined by musicians/brothers John and Paul Bartlett, who people may know from the Adelaide band Lowrider or as the production duo SIXFOUR. Just like Caiti Baker, these guys are insanely talented, with John even delivering a surprising, but appreciated, keyboard solo during ‘Rough Old Town’ that allowed Caiti to show off some of her signature dance moves.
Throughout the show she told stories about the making of the album and some of the meaning behind the songs on it, along with some pretty fun crowd-work and banter. It’s a pretty common practice, but putting stories behind the songs the crowd is about to hear really adds to the experience, and the fact that Caiti was so comfortable talking about it all certainly helped.
Some of the more notable performances included ‘Wolf,’ as Paul’s heavy hitting drumming really made the crowd get down, ‘Heavy on My Heart’ unsurprisingly went off, and Caiti also delivered some beautiful covers of Tom Waits and Aretha Franklin.
While I was little disappointed some her new singles ‘Gimme’ and ‘Yep Yep’ weren’t performed, hearing Zinc live in such length for the last time was certainly a treat. And by the time Caiti was finishing on ‘Make Your Own Mistakes’ (with what felt like extra swing) I was feeling the good energy; and already looking forward to when she inevitably returns to Melbourne.