Chromeo heat up the House of Blues

A review of Chromeo at the House of Blues on February 3, 2011

, Staff Writer

Chromeo have been touring almost nonstop since the release of their third album, Business Casual, last fall. The Montreal-based electro duo of P-Thugg and Dave 1, who jokingly call themselves the only successful Arab/Jew partnership in history, brought their gregarious live show to the House of Blues last week and delivered a quick set of crowd pleasers that kept the crowd engaged throughout.

One shortfall that plagues many electro acts is an inability to keep the crowd engaged in their live performances. Crystal Castles are the first group that spring to mind. Sure, Alice Glass goes pretty crazy on stage, but it doesn’t seem so much for the audience’s sake. At times times, these group even comes off as almost spiteful towards their crowds. Chromeo deftly sidestep this accusation, however. The pair consistently kept the crowd in the mix, urging them to sing along to their crowd favorites including “Night By Night” and “Momma’s Boy”.

P-Thugg, the larger one, kept a steady stream of grooves going, stationed behind his synthesizer setup, which itself was perched atop a pair of illuminated, stiletto-healed legs. Dave 1 handled most of the vocal duties and took to roaming around the stage with his guitar, working the crowd with every move and generally acting as a frontman for the duo.

The set was a steady stream of Chromeo’s biggest hits, keeping the crowd delirious with recognition, a seemingly-endless stream of 80’s synthesizers and disco sensibilities. Towards the middle of the set, “Bonafied Lovin’” set off an especially large wave of cheers. Dave 1 has the swagger to back up the lyrics you’d expect from a song with such a title, standing tall, decked in a leather jacket and sunglasses. Other highlights included “You’re So Gangsta”, a more hip hop-y tune with its unforgettable chorus, and “Hot Mess”. By the time closer “Fancy Footwork” dropped, the House of Blues had turned into a sweaty, sexy dance party. Simply put, everyone was moving. Chromeo came back for a three-song encore, consisting of “J’ai claqué la porte”, “Needy Girl” and “Grow Up”, before evacuating the stage at just past 11.

The only unfortunate thing about Chromeo’s show is that it had to end as early as it did. A band like theirs is much better-suited to being up on the stage all night, and surely the crowd would have kept going for another few hours. Such is not the case in Boston, sadly. Having said that, what Chromeo did deliver was exceptional, a fine mix of eminently danceable tunes and genuine personality that elevates them above a pretty crowded scene.

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