(6 Oct 2011: Boulder Theater Boulder, CO)
At first, the combined tour of Chromeo and Mayer Hawthorne seems a bit misaligned. But what it comes down to in the end, and why the two make a perfect pairing, is how much fun the show is.
Even for a college town known for its unabashed parties that was recently rated the 40th worst dressed town in the United States, it was hard not to let your draw drop at some of the ridiculous clothes worn by, well, almost everybody in attendance. From sparkling silver rain jackets with matching caps to camouflage shorts and a bright orange t-shirt, it was like being abducted and dropped from the sky a la Being John Malkovich into the costume closet of Earth Girls Are Easy. The Boulder Theater, though it has been privy to some wild times in its day, is probably still rubbing its proverbial eyes in disbelief.
Hawthorne’s sound is straight out of Detroit, a true R&B soul nearly undifferentiated from the classics. He puts on a performance for the ages. With his band The County (described by the bandleader as anyone who plays or sings with him), he is able to harness a pure energy that actually captures the entire room. The house lights were actually up, and his stage lights were in full effect – a rolling and flashing “M” and “H” each flanked the stage while colored lights danced above. Unfortunately, one comment directing bloggers to cross their arms and walk to the back of the room turned some people off to him (namely, me), but nevertheless it was certainly hard not to appreciate such a talented performer.
Chromeo, a duo comprised of Patrick Gemayel (P-Thugg) and David Macklovitch (Dave 1), describe themselves as electrofunk, but that hardly captures their full sound. On stage, it turns into somewhat of an 80s hairband dance party. And yes, I said “hairband dance party” completely aware of the dichotomy between those two scenes. If you’re questioning it, you should probably go see Chromeo to be convinced just how possible the melding of the two really is. It’s a rocker of a performance complete with fist pumping, wailing guitar solos, leather jackets, auto-tuned vocal effects, and, of course, strobe lights that could send you into an epileptic fit.