We Love Music: Chromeo @ 9:30 Club, 2/6/11

All photos by Michael Darpino

Per Michael’s advice, I thought I’d cruise over to the 9:30 Club on Sunday night to dance with single ladies with good taste in music. I even came up with the perfect line – “excuse me, do you care about sports? Me neither.”

Okay, not entirely true. I try to care about football at least once a year, so I caught the first three-quarters of the Super Bowl. And I pretended to be heartbroken when I had to leave before the final quarter to catch Chromeo. They played two shows this weekend – Saturday night’s sold out forever ago, but The Game meant there were still tickets for Sunday. But even with competing activities, Chromeo nearly filled the club. It proved to be a great venue for these guys – with a full stage setup, complete with stadium-style lighting, backup dancers, and their trademark sexy-leg-synthesizers, Chromeo showed off their bona-fide rock star credentials.



Chromeo started off the night with “Don’t Turn the Lights On”, already one of my favorite songs of theirs off their new album Business Casual. They added an extended bridge section, milking every second of enjoyment possible out of the track. Later on, they spoke the chorus of “Night by Night” quietly before ripping into the track at full volume. You could tell these were not only crowd favorites, but also the band’s favorites, by the way they grinned throughout these songs.

It was nice to see P-Thugg playing the Talkbox throughout the night. When you hear this effect on record, it sounds like one of a million electronic effects that happen in the studio; seeing it live made it feel more authentic, like we were actually witnessing a show in the 80s. I was half-expecting these guys to play in an ironic, detached manner – I mean, they’re writing this electro-pop about three decades too late – yet you could tell these guys loved every second of their music, and were just glad to have the opportunity to share it with us.



Chromeo’s main set ended with a blast of confetti during their track “Fancy Footwork”. It couldn’t get much better than that, right? Well, they should’ve ended the show right there…instead, they came out for a completely disappointing encore that had none of the energy of their main set. These songs just weren’t good; they were a couple of the last tracks from “Business Casual” that I didn’t even recognize, because I usually get to that point in the album and realize that “Night by Night” is still playing in my head.

I mean, Chromeo, here’s the problem. In your main set, you played through 15 songs, which covers most of the tracks on your last two albums. That means your encore was really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Here’s how to fix this:

a) Play something, anything from your debut album.
b) Play a shorter set and save a couple good tracks for the encore.
c) Write more songs and play some new ones.
d) Flat-out cover “I Want My MTV” by Dire Straits instead of just playing it for a minute as a teaser.
e) Don’t play an encore at all.

Just a couple suggestions! Really, you guys are great performers, so I don’t know how you screwed up the encore. I mean, look at these rock star moves! So cool. Throughout the night, I could tell these guys were having a blast and their attitude was infectious because I had one too.




Click here for the full set of concert pictures.

Martin Silbiger

Martin moved from Atlanta to DC in 2007. He works as a software developer for Soundexchange, a non-profit royalty administration organization. A self-proclaimed metal snob, Martin loves bands that push into unexplored territory. He also writes about pop culture here.

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