Night Falls Tour
With Mayer Hawthorne and the County, and Sammy Bananas
Fillmore Miami Beach
September 20, 2011
Better Than: Cornichons on a ham sandwich.
Chromeo loves Chromeo. And Chromeo should love Chromeo because Chromeo is one of the few bands out there that make music that is danceable, funny, and actually good.
Last night at the Fillmore Miami Beach, in the hour the duo was onstage, more people attempted to dance with this writer than at any other show, maybe ever. "Our name is Chromeo and we are in control," the Montreal tag team announced. And they certainly were.
Earlier, Mayer Hawthorne played a feel-good opening set backed by The County, a talented four-piece, all-boy band. When Crossfade spoke with Hawthorne, he said what he does up there onstage is a "show." It was dance-ready and all smiles. With his zip-up hoodie and bow tie, he's got this nerdy dreamboat appeal. And at one point, he threw his heart-shaped record, "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out," into a pit of screaming ladies at the foot of the stage.
They sounded like a groove-dude Supremes, sprinkled with some funk. Hawthorne showed the crowd how to do a classic Detroit dance, the Errol Flynn, which basically consisted of turning a hand back and forth, talk-to-the-hand style. He referenced a few other songs like Outkast's "Ms. Jackson" ("foreva, eva?") and Daft Punk's "Around the World." And before Chromeo went up, Hawthorne said, "Rest in peace, DJ Mehdi," in honor of the recent passing of a friend and colleague.
On a lighter note, Chromeo has this thang, this shtick. There's the straight man Dave 1, and the other guy, the funny one P-Thugg. But together they make music that pops, sharing the stage equally. While Dave 1's got his skinny tie and suit, P-Thugg has a wife beater, chains, and a backwards baseball cap.
P and his Peter Frampton talk-box voice really beats all. Every time the futuristic sound cuts through the aerobic, synthy, funky dance music, it elicits a giggle. Sometimes Chromeo even sounds like freaking Huey Lewis and the News. And that's OK, 'cause like the guy next to us in the crowd said, again and again, this is just "too cool." It sounds familiar and fresh.
"Can't hear you, Miami!," "Put your hands up!," and non-stop sing-alongs kept everyone pumped about dancing. It's a little formulaic. But the people were having fun. They started with "Chrome-O! Ooooh..." Which is like the thing from Wizard of Oz, right? Anyway. Chromeo worship of Chromeo is corny. But it's also kind of cute.
Dave 1 also kept doing this thing when trying to get the audience to put their hands in the air. He'd raise his three middle fingers like Christ recognizing the trinity in old Catholic paintings. Maybe it was because his guitar pick was in his hand? It was not as distracting as the intense lights that flashed from the stage. It made ya wanna wear sunglasses inside. He also asked us to put peace signs up. Very un-pre-Obama America.
They started in on Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing" singing, "I want my Chromeo" instead of "I want my MTV." It sort of made us all glance at each other, like, "Really?" And then Dave 1 announced that this was their first official show in Miami, adding that it was way overdue, "considering every person of my religion lives here." We caught them like four years back at the Fifth, and the show was pretty much the same, except the last one was overflowing with people and this one was more fun.
Overheard in the crowd: "He's just too cool."
Personal bias: I am a needy girl and that song is so good!
Random fact: Opening act Fool's Gold Sammy Bananas played sax while DJing.
Another DJ Mehdi Moment: Chromeo's set also ended with a Mehdi tribute as Dave 1 announced that they did a song, "I Am Somebody," together a few years ago.
Mayer Hawthorne Set List
-"Make Her Mine"
-"Shiny & New"
-"Wish It Would Rain"
-"Love in Motion"
-"Ain't Gonna Work Out"
-"A Long Time"
Chromeo Set List
-"I'm Not Contagious"
-"Call Me Up"
-"When the Night Falls"
-"You're So Gangsta"
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-"Night by Night"
-"I Am Somebody"