Concert review: Chromeo

Published at exclaim.ca

Chromeo / Holy Ghost / Telephoned

Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto ON

August 3 

Chromeo might be a Montreal band, but they got a homecoming-worthy reception at Toronto’s Phoenix. Sweat-soaked revellers — from frat boys to hippie chicks — bounced off each other, not missing a lyric, hands raised to the electro-funk duo’s lit-up stage. You wouldn’t be mistaken for thinking it was a private party, thrown for Dave 1 and P-Thugg’s friends, instead of a sold-out concert.

Never dipping in energy, Chromeo maintained a constant level of party throughout their hour-long set. Coming out to the ominous crowd-led chant that opens their Fancy Footwork record, they hit the audience with strobe lights and set to work on making them move. For most of the show, Dave 1 worked the stage, largely unhindered by his guitar, while P-Thugg provided the beats, effects and background vocals from behind his key stand. After dropping first-album nugget “Tenderoni” early in the set, they were dripping with sweat as well.

Though they’re promoting their new record Business Casual, Chromeo made sure to cover their best hits, as well as newer stuff like “Night by Night” and “Don’t Turn the Lights on.” “Waiting 4 U,” “Bonafied Lovin” and “Fancy Footwork” were greeted with raucous dancing, and Dave introduced “Needy Girl” as a song that’s special to the band when they play in Canada, “like visiting an aunt with a Tim Hortons in her house.” It may not make any literal sense, but you get the overwhelming “feels like home” sentiment.

Opening for Chromeo was electro-pop cover band Telephoned, who churned out a lively performance reworking Kelis, Drake, Rihanna and dancehall standards, despite the skint-ish, early crowd. New York City four-piece Holy Ghost were on in as the main opening act and a decent draw themselves. For half an hour the quartet, previously in town opening for LCD Soundsystem, hunched over keyboards, blasting out danceable, kick-heavy, glittering synth pop to get the audience amped for the main act.