Let’s get two things out of the way first. No. 1: I’m a die-hard Chromeo fan, so short of quitting the show early or reading The Great Gatsby like Andy Kaufman, there’s no way this band was going to disappoint.
No. 2: Brooklyn Bowl is a helluva place to see a show. The stage is small compared to other venues, and that’s not meant to be disparaging.
By keeping things intimate, you’re so much closer to the artist. Think of the small clubs and music halls where your favorite college bands played—that’s what I’m talking about. The venue itself, if you’ve never been, has got a real ass on it and a lot of room to see the show. But up in the very front, almost within arms reach of the stage, you feel like it’s just you and the band.
Such was the feeling when the Funklordz returned to Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas on April 12. In the nearly four years that have passed, Dave 1 and P-Thugg have been back for DJ residencies at Drai’s and the final night of Life Is Beautiful 2016, and while both have been must-see and must-talk about, neither can compare to the Chromeo experience up close on this night.
Following a meet-and-greet for ticketholders who purchased the “Funklordz Bedroom Calling Experience”—of which I was one, and they are totally chill, very friendly guys—and an opening performance by EDM duo-to-watch Phantoms, Dave and P took the stage just before 10:30 p.m.
Chromeo … Oh, Oh
The Chromeo intro is familiar to longtime fans. It’s a chant of “Chromeo … oh, oh,” almost like a rallying cry you’d hear at a Golden Knights game.
You can tell if a person is a Chromeo fan if he/she knows the chant. This crowd knew it.
Stepping out with their trademark swag—Dave in his leather jacket and chrome guitar and P in a leather vest and no shirt—they went right into “Come Alive” off their previous release, 2014’s White Women.
I often feel like the opening track at a concert is just the warm-up act. It can sometimes be one of the band’s really popular singles, but most of the time I see it as something to whet the appetite and get the crowd’s juices flowing.
“Come Alive,” as the title suggests, is a means of waking up the crowd to let them know that Chromeo had arrived.
Then, they dropped “Bonafide Lovin,” and the crowd really came alive.
The Classics Come Out
For many fans (myself included), the single off 2007’s Fancy Footwork was their introduction to Chromeo. At that point, the pair had only 2004’s She’s In Control (and really just its biggest single, “Needy Girl”) under their belts.
The classics would become some of the night’s biggest highlights. As Dave 1 teased in a Vegas Seven interview leading up to the show, he’d inserted some of Chromeo’s older hits, including “Needy Girl” and “Momma’s Boy” into the setlist, along with familiar hits, and four tracks off their forthcoming album, Head Over Heels.
Of the new tracks, “Juice” and “Bedroom Calling” got the biggest response from the crowd. The die-hard fans sang along to “Must’ve Been,” which dropped a week earlier. From the stage, Dave 1 joked that fans might not know all the words yet. Surely, fewer than a handful knew “One Track Mind,” the fourth new song that Chromeo debuted in Las Vegas during the encore.
We Came For This
Among the evening’s highlights: Dave dropping down into the audience during “Over Your Shoulder.” The fan next to me, who had driven into Las Vegas from St. George, Utah, managed to grab him smiling in her selfie.
As a duo, it’s like Dave and P share a brain. Their on-stage chemistry has never been better, and the moments when they play back-to-back or face-to-face—Dave on guitar, P on bass—are Instagram magic.
At every Chromeo concert I’ve been to—this is the third of the four full-length shows they’ve staged in Las Vegas—there are more and more fans that know all of the lyrics. The crowds aren’t necessarily larger or smaller—after all, the venues have varied—but the fans seem to be falling deeper in love with the words and the sound, and it’s beautiful.
Las Vegas is living through a golden age of residencies right now, and while Chromeo doesn’t have the global marketability of Cher or Gwen Stefani, there has to be room for electro-funk and synth in this city.
Somebody, please, take a chance and put these guys in a room for an extended run.
Photos by Fred Morledge
Night by Night
Over Your Shoulder
Jealous (I Ain’t With It)
Fall Back 2U
One Track Mind