(Stream the full session here)
Chromeo is the ultimate party band.
The Canadian duo — Dave 1 and P-Thugg — have been playing their brand of 80’s influenced electro-funk for more than 10 years (before the genre was in style, they’re quick to say, back when punk dance bands like Rapture and Bloc Party ruled) and they’ve never done it better.
On their new album “White Girls“, they’ve perfected the pop side of their sound, resulting in a couple excellent singles which they sprinkled throughout a career-spanning live set at part of KCRW’s Apogee Sessions series.
After a stint on the main stage at Coachella and a sold out show at the Fonda Theater, they played to 1/10th of the people at that venue for this live taping of Morning Becomes Eclectic.
The show started with a six-piece choir chanting the band’s name, before they launched into “Night by Night” and “Hot Mess“, two favorites from “Business Casual“.
The choreographed dance moves on an even earlier cut, “Tenderoni“, were a nice touch but when they started “Come Alive” — the clear radio single off their latest album — that is when the crowd really went wild, hands in the air.
During the interview with Host Jason Bentley, they joked that it was more intimidating to play a venue like this, with the crowd just feet away, than the Main Stage at Coachella.
Truth be told, they are both producers and enjoy the studio setting. In fact, they worked on “White Women” for “two long years”. That said, they like to have a good time. Dave says they take cues from bands like Kiss and Iron Maiden for their on stage persona.
Jason mentioned how the new album is more well-crafted pop and less tongue in cheek. Dave replied that the sense of humor is still there (clearly, if you’ve listened to any of the lyrics) but they worked harder on all aspects of the music — the quality of the songwriting and production, particularly.
He also talked about their collaborations on the record, saying he recruited Toro y Moi because all the girls he invited over wanted to hear his music and he got a bit jealous. P-Thugg, who only answered questions through his voicebox, added “if you can’t beat him, join him.”
They listed Rick James, Michael Macdonald, Parliament and Hall and Oates among their musical influences, which I have to believe is quite unique for a band that is also embraced by the EDM community.
By the second set, it was a full on dance party, including the excellent new track “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)“, the classic “Fancy Footwork“, and closing with “Frequent Flyer“.
These days so many dance bands seem to be competing based on the quality of their light shows and fancy backdrops more so than the power of their music. This show was proof that Chromeo needed nothing but their well-crafted songs and incredible energy to get the entire crowd dancing. It was refreshing and very fun to be a part of.
The show no signs of slowing down and I can’t wait to see where they go from here!
The session was recorded by Bob Clearmountain at Apogee Studio and will air on Morning Becomes Eclectic on Friday, May 9.
KCRW’s Apogee Sessions featuring Chromeo – Set List
NIGHT BY NIGHT
BONAFIED LOVIN’ (TOUGH GUYS)
OVER YOUR SHOULDER*
JEALOUS (I AIN’T WITH IT)*
*off the new album “White Women“
Dave 1: vocals, guitars, keyboards
P-Thugg: vocals, bass, keyboards
Dee Dee Foster