Chromeo – November 14, 2013 – Webster Hall
There aren’t many bands you can see these days and feel satisfied if you consider yourself a firm believer in the whole funk and nothing but the funk so help you funk. Chromeo make that shortlist with ease, with funktastic hooks so contagious they’re next to impossible to shake. Their Webster Hall show last night sold out within 90 seconds, and the 90+ minutes they performed easily shows why.
Chromeo are made up of Dave-1 and P-Thugg, two guys who have remained good friends since childhood, in what they’ve jokingly called “the only successful Arab-Jewish partnership since the dawn of human culture.” The fun they share onstage is palpable. When certain songs called for it, they’d stand back to back, trading off bass and guitar solos in great moments that felt like a scene from a buddy comedy. The pair pulls inspiration from several genres without feeling like one in particular. The few bars of Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” they played between songs and their must-see performance of Hall & Oates’ “I Can’t Go for That” will give some idea of their musical influences.
Having much of their songs preprogrammed allows the pair to pepper the tunes with killer guitar solos and talk-box singing at the perfect moments. The stage was littered not just with the perfect combination of lights and smoke machines, but also with two amazing light-up leg keyboard stands (think Christmas Story leg lamp but sexier). The band played through their biggest hits in succession: “Bonafied Lovin’ (Tough Guys),” “Night by Night,” “Needy Girl” and “Hot Mess.” They also performed select songs from their forthcoming album, White Women, including the live premiere of an irresistibly catchy number called “Frequent Flyer.” The show ended with one of their first songs ever released, “You’re So Gangsta.” And Chromeo have been stuck in my head ever since. —Dan Rickershauser