Reviewed on Friday March 21
The general rule is that bedroom producers are terrible live performers. This is understandable; after all, they spend all their time alone on Ableton, which does not tend to cultivate an electric stage presence.
Luckily, Baths (AKA Will Wiesenfeld) is an exception to the rule. He translates his intricate ‘listen-to-this-with-your-good-headphones’ electronica into an exciting and immersive live show. Playing to a packed-out Oxford Art Factory, he had everyone dancing at some point. This was not an easy feat – most of his fans were too cool to even smile, let alone uncross their arms.
He had help, of course. Sydneysider Rainbow Chan was an excellent opener and delivered a pitch-perfect set. Then Collarbones amped it up, successfully coaxing everyone’s hips into a sway with the glitchy ‘Hypothermia’.
Baths entered to a crowd ready to get down – and it only took dropping the first beat of ‘Worsening’ for it to happen.
The show was energetic and surprisingly upbeat, especially considering the dark turn he took with most recent release Obsidian. Switching between falsettos and keyboard solos, Baths managed to pull off complex tracks like ‘Ironworks’ and ‘Miasma Sky’ with apparent ease. Cheers of recognition greeted ‘Lovely Bloodflow’ (Cerulean, 2010) and brought a noticeably lighter mood to match the track’s off-centre beats.
At the end of the set, Wiesenfeld started to let loose and jam. ‘No Eyes’ was climactic, with everyone joining in on the infamous hook (“But it is only a matter of / Come and fuck me.”) Though it had a great vibe, the show was heavy on new material, and some fans may have been disappointed not to hear some of Baths’ earlier classics (OK, “some fans” is me.)
All in all, we are lucky Baths decided to emerge from his bedroom – his music is as good IRL as it is coming through your headphones.