Firsts are always the best. That first kiss. The first time witnessing the team you grew up watching, finally hoisting their golden hardware. Your first hit from the…higher power. And, of course, your first glimpse of your favorite group performing live, which is why my presence last Thursday at Chromeo’s first concert in my native Motor City was one for the ages.
Upon arrival to this Midwest swang of the Montreal-based band’s’ inaugural North American tour, you could see their lack of legitimate mainstream success hasn’t hurt their pockets, as the complementary duo of Dave-1 and P-Thugg had a line of fans literally lined up two blocks northbound on Woodward Ave. One suspicious looking pedestrian walked passed the single-file, pastel melting pot and yelled to those who hadn’t shied away, “There better be free beer in there to wait this long!” No, you crazy old man, just the funk.
After dialing up an uninspiring opening act in cover-band Telephoned and a surprisingly sweet set by Holy Ghost, the guys who brought you She’s In Control and Fancy Footwork finally answered the packed crowd’s Emerald-City-esque chants of “Chrooooom-eeee-o-oooooooooh,” by kicking off their set with a freshly squeezed track from their soon-to-be-released third album, Business Casual (…which was later aptly described as “Open shirt, no socks and open-toed sandals”).
Weaving in and out of audible treats from each of their three opuses of awesomeness, this two-man powerhouse of sound moved their entranced sea of glow-stick-wielding followers vicariously through various instruments, crowd interaction and the perfect emphasis on every chime, cow-bell and vocal detail they’re known for sprinkling throughout their music. Occasionally, P-Thugg would even puppeteer people with city-specific vocoder solos, like “Detroit Rock City” and Journey’s dive bar anthem and hometown-repping, “Don’t Stop Believing.” Upon losing his voice after singing/lying about being “…born and raised in south Detroit,” the drunkard next to me yelled, “That felt so good!” He meant it.
Almost as good as when, after wrapping up their marathon set with “Fancy Footwork (2 Step),” they returned for an encore to play personal favorites like “Momma’s Boy” and “100%,” leaving the crowd dancing out the doors and on out into the streets like Martha Reeves. Or, almost as good as when these two gentleman happily obliged to a handshake, a few pictures backstage and even a hard copy of their second album. Or, almost as good as having one of your main musical inspirations live up to every sky-high expectation you’ve set.
The rest of Chromeo’s 2010 Business Casual Tour continues throughout areas across the country (click here for dates and stops), so if they stop in your state and you miss the opportunity, you’ll be sorely mistaken. After all, there is a first for everything…and this is one first you will not soon forget.