Chromeo Makes Funkateers
This past Thursday marked the danciest night in Los Angeles. Youngins and middle-aged fans of the electro-funk duo filled the theater and danced their funk-filled hearts away as Chromeo performed at the last American city on their Night Falls Tour.
Centered in the heart of Koreatown, the Wiltern’s marquee was lit up with neon blue and red, illuminating Wilshire Boulevard and the mass of people lined up for the show. Hipster girls with lipstick-adorned, juicy red lips and bearded guys wearing crisp, plaid shirts waited in line as old Korean couples walked home with their groceries and scalpers brushed up against people offering their wares. These trendily dressed girls and guys and the occasional middle-aged couple stood together and waited for the ornate, wooden doors of the Wiltern to open.
The show got off to an underwhelming start with an opening act by Peanut Butter Wolf, who remixed old ‘80s and ‘ 90s rap videos and projected them on to a screen. The sense of dread and impatience filled the room as the minutes ticked by, culminating in a 40 minute set.
Finally, 20 minutes after Peanut Butter Wolf stopped playing, Dave 1 and P-Thugg strolled on stage. Dave 1, dressed in a black t-shirt, black jeans and a stark white blazer, while P-Thugg had on what looked to be like a set of black silk pajamas accessorized with a silk, leopard-print scarf.
Their set kicked off with the audience chanting, “Chromeo, whooooooaaa-ooohhh” as Dave 1 and P-Thugg played their futuristic-sounding introductory song, “Intro,” filled with the same chant, but done by their backup singers called the Chromettes. The duo immediately transitioned into “Fancy Footwork,” their most well known song, as Dave 1 threw his arms up in the air and held up two fingers as he chanted “two-step, two-step” to hint to the crowd what was coming next.
Chromeo followed up with a track from their most recent album “Business Casual.” “I’m Not Contagious” began with an epically intricate guitar solo by Dave 1, accompanied with bright white lights violently flashing along, and quickly descended into the funk-filled song, with P-Thugg playing along on the synth.
Next came “Outta Sight,” the eighties-influenced tune that is slightly reminiscent of the “Ghostbuster’s” theme song with its heavy use of synthesized beats. Probably the most electronic song of the night, P-Thugg made use of his Talk-Box with a tube attached to the synth as he crooned “baby, baby, baby, baby,” and Dave 1 followed up with “I think we’d have a good time.”
The whole crowd was singing and dancing, even a middle-aged Asian man with a pot-belly. (I guess he skipped a trip to the grocery store in order to catch the show.)
To take a break from all the two-stepping and jumping around, Chromeo slowed down with their more mellow tune “100%,” which allowed the crowd to sway side-to-side and catch their breath from all the dancing they had done. Midway through the song, the two brought out a saxophone player who donned a pair of darkly tinted sunglasses and injected a sensuously jazzy moment into the night. The deep blue lights reflecting into the crowd made the mood absolutely electric.
However, this break didn’t last for long, as the two jumped into their next song, “Bonafied Lovin.” To start it off, Dave 1 instructed the crowd to jump. They happily obliged. “Bonafied Lovin” is the quintessential example of how Chromeo can flawlessly combine electronic sounds with live instruments, blending them to make a completely funky and fun sound. The crowd couldn’t help but twist their shoulders along with the beat and clap along to the rhythm.
The show carried on with “Needy Girl,” often hailed as their most danceable track; this was not disproved by the nonstop motion of the crowd that night.
Dave 1 stood at the very edge of the stage and strummed away on his guitar, causing the crowd on the floor to clamor to the front in hopes of catching his eye through his dark Ray-Ban Wayfarers. At the end of the song, confetti blasters shot out silver strips of confetti as Dave 1 and P-Thugg victoriously raised their arms to the sky and created the most picture-perfect end to the night.
The encore began with a heavy electronic beat created by both of them as the two faced each other and created a slow, almost melodic beat that gradually crescendoed into “You Make it Rough,” a song about how frustrating it is to love someone who doesn’t return the favor. For the first time that night, Dave 1 went without his guitar and just gripped the microphone.
With the second to last song, “Don’t Turn the Lights On,” Dave 1 pointed at a lucky lady in the audience as he said “Don’t turn the lights on/cause tonight I want to see you in the dark,” causing squeals to emanate from nearly every girl in the audience.
Finally, Chromeo wrapped up with “My Girl is Calling Me A Liar” which allowed Dave 1 and P-Thugg to stand back to back and play their guitars. The song, and the night, ended with the two of them conversing together as part of the song and P-Thugg electronically crooning “Goodnight.”
As epically as it started, the night ended with a simple “goodnight” that perfectly summed up the fun that was had. That night, Chromeo filled the Wiltern with their purely danceable tunes that brought together a diverse crowd that was there for the festivities. With this show, Chromeo easily turned regular folks into bonafied funkateers.