Review: Kilter | Max Watt's, Sydney

Written By Zanda Wilson on 07/11/2017

Hometown hero Kilter wrapped up his national tour in Sydney on Saturday night, bringing to end a string of dates celebrating the release of his debut album Through The Distortion’. After energetic sets from support acts Alta and Feki, Kilter was ready to bring his inimitable brand of drum-driven live production to a great crowd of passionate, loyal fans at Max Watts.

The night was built up with waves of anticipation, and for good reason, because it was only now after the release of his diverse and explorative new record that Kilter could now build a set tactically taking songs from a growing archive of originals and still have plenty left over. And if that wasn’t enough to build excitement, the Sydney boy brought together what was undoubtedly his most captivating and comprehensive light show to date.

The set rose and fell, with very fresh new tracks like ‘Shatter’ and ‘Treasure’ prompting some “wow” moments from punters who hadn’t yet fallen in love with them, but crucially Kilter crafted his performance around big newies like ‘Waste Time’, ‘Running Way’ and ‘I Hear You’. It’s truly a testament to the quality of Through The Distortion that fans reacted to hearing the opening bars of these tunes as if they’d been around for several years, not a spattering of weeks.

Loyal fans were rewarded too, with some of the defining songs of Kilter’s discography – and indeed his career to date – featuring as climatic points of the set. Perhaps Kilter’s biggest song to date ‘They Say’ morphed into a clinic on drumming at speed and triggering melodic hits, spicing up the original melody, and we can only hope that we get a studio recording of this live version one day (ahem *hint*).

As per usual, and much to the delight of the crowd, Kilter was joined by his faithful touring guitarist Tim Lockwood who always adds an intangible quality to the texture with his intricate stylings. Can anyone actually confirm he wasn’t a member of Snakadaktal when they wrote ‘Fall Underneath’, because if you don’t get chills when Lockwood and Kilter perform their live cover then you’re doing it wrong.

In a world where producers are constantly trying to work more hardware into their live productions, Kilter has proved time and time again that building a show around triggers, samples, and live percussive elements trumps anything that can be added to a show built around the use of a laptop. He remains one of the most captivating solo artists on the live scene, and his live shows will only improve as his audiences become more familiar with his still-very-fresh debut LP.