Theophilus London Knows How to Have Fun

July 22nd, 2011

Theophilus London – The Bowery Ballroom – July 21, 2011

Theophilus London is a name that has been buzzing for a while now and last night was the official release party of his debut album, Timez Are Weird These Days. I know what you’re thinking: Why the Z? I don’t know either, but misspellings were forgiven after his high-energy and, quite literally, glittering show. With the American flag draped across his DJ decks and a glittering gold-sequined vest on, he opened the set with “Why Even Try,” a song that features an incredibly catchy chorus by Sara Quin (of Tegan and Sara) on the album.

Sadly none of the disc’s hook-owning guests were at the show but London made up for it with his own energy—the stage could hardly contain him as he threw out dollar bills on “Girls Girls $.” With fans already jumping all over one another on the floor, he launched into the current single “Last Name London,” which has an incredible beat firmly stapled on the track. Other standout songs included “I Stand Alone” and his ode to a disco queen, “Love Is Real,” with Brooklyn’s own Holly Miranda on the hook. Cutting some songs short with a quick “Yo DJ” request, London blazed through an hour-long set and came back for an encore of crowd surfing and (what else?) “Always Love You,” featuring Whitney Houston’s classic as a sample. There is a distinctive ’80s quality to London’s music and a very current feel to his live show that eventually boils down to the fact that Theophilus London knows how to have fun and how to look good doing it. —Lauren Glucksman