That 1 Guy @ Beat Kitchen in Chicago (2/21/2019) [PHOTOS & REVIEW]

That 1 Guy @ Beat Kitchen in Chicago (2/21/2019) [PHOTOS & REVIEW]

Written by Ricky Havansek

Photography by Alex Janowski


On Thursday, February 21st, I made my way over to Beat Kitchen to catch a performance by “That 1 Guy”. You may have noticed his unique stage name before on lineups presented by Wakarusa, Electric Forest, Big Day Out, All Good, Bella, High Sierra, Summer Meltdown, or Montreal Jazz Festival. I have been following his Monday night Facebook live show titled “Radio That1Guy,” and I was very excited to see how the psychedelic nonsense of his online shows would translate onto the stage. I was thoroughly impressed!

That 1 Guy’s instrument, lovingly referred to as “The Magic Pipe,” is the very first thing I noticed when walking into the venue. It was sticking out of the middle of the stage like some futuristic, cyberpunk audio sculpture. At one point during his performance, he explained that the instrument features not only a low C bass string on one hanging pipe, but a violin string on the second hanging pipe.


Throughout the night, That 1 Guy would switch between bangin’ directly on the strings with a drumstick, using a violin bow, and plucking it by hand. The contraption also held a bunch of arcade style midi buttons, a snare style midi pad, and a turntable for plenty of ways to launch his eclectic samples. He was also utilizing 3 screens for visuals, most of which were of himself making funny faces and good old internet goofiness like memes!


Remarkably, That 1 Guy’s set was all over the place but still very cohesive. He kept us on our toes, started the night off with a magic show, and left me repeatedly bamboozled and cracking up!  When he got into the audio, he’d keep that low C string on his “magic pipe” chugging away, consistently holding the rhythm down while he carefully intertwined classic rock songs sampled at odd speeds and heavy hitting, fun midi drum samples.


He even sang an improvisational story during the introduction of one of his songs about the hardships of uploading live Facebook videos from Airbnb’s while on tour. After a long set of bumpin’ originals, he attempted to leave the stage before being called right back up for an encore! It was an intimate crowd, but you could tell the superfans all made it out. Attendees started shouting out all their favorite songs he hadn’t played yet. That 1 Guy was ready to end his performance with a sweet encore, and he did so with a funky eastern remix of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck, complimented perfectly by some meme-like cartoon cat visuals. He mixed this into the classic Cameo song “Word Up,” and performed the lyrics spoken-word style, perfectly lip-synced to the music video behind him. It was a beautiful end to a beautiful night! 


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