On Sunday, Charles and I went to see the Chromeo show I had mentioned here before. The day was grey and threatened rain. The air was thick and humid. The forecast called for lightning. Undeterred we set out at around 12:30 to get in line. The doors were supposed to open at 2:00, but, both being relentlessly on time for everything, we wanted to get there early. And not unreasonably, I might add, since the Pool Parties things typically get very crowded very quickly. We were just acting in a prudent manner. Business.
We got into line very near the front. We were excited to be so close to the gate even though we could have easily been much further back and still been guaranteed admission. But, fuck it, we were pumped. Neither of us had ever seen Chromeo before and you cannot deny a free show. You just can’t.
And then, sometime just after 1, it started to rain.
Now, I’m not talking about that bullshit rain Californians get so upset about during the winter. No, I’m talking some motherfucking god damned 40 days and 40 nights DOWNPOUR. Raindrops like golf balls. Flooded streets, gale force winds, umbrellas torn to shreds, and there were Joe and Charles, without any sort of protection from the elements, getting absolutely drenched. But were we deterred?
We stood there literally for hours in the rain. When 2 came and went and the rain showed no sign of slowing, Charles very nearly hit his breaking point and asked if maybe we should call it. I stood firm, however, and made it known that I would not move until they told us the show was going on, it was being moved, or it was cancelled.
Shortly after 3, the rain abated a bit, and yet we waited in line for some spec of info. Was the show going on? Was it moving? So many people had given up and left for the dryness and safety of home. Fools! They missed the doors finally opening around 3:30 and we poured in. I made a beeline for the beer table as standing in the rain for hours had developed in my a considerable thirst which would only be quenched by beer. And, beer in hand, the show began as it was supposed to, minor delay notwithstanding. Here are my thoughts.
Is it me or does opening your set with a cover song seem like a fucking stupid idea? The best part of the set was when the wind blew the DJ’s records off the turntables. I described them to one of the dudes I met in line as drum & bass karaoke. Forgettable.
I think I might have enjoyed The Suzan better if I was a 14 year old Japanese schoolgirl. Now, I’m not saying they were bad; they weren’t. It’s just that their brand of stupefyingly sweet bubblegum pop really does nothing at all for me. Maybe I don’t have enough Hello Kitty shit in my house, but there’s something about their music that gave me a toothache and made me worry I might need a root canal.
If you like this sort of thing, then good for you. Check these ladies out. They are by no means bad, just not my style.
This is where the show really picked up for me. I’ve listened to Kid Sister’s record and it’s pretty good, I guess, but not something I would get behind and recommend to someone. It’s fine, but, I don’t know, not all that exciting really.
But, god damn, Kid Sister brings it live. I don’t care if you’re a fan of her records, but if you like to see a damned good show that’ll make you dance and want to F&F, then this is your jam. I don’t really have much else to say about the set except that it was awesome. A very nice surprise on a rainy day since I really had no expectations of her whatsoever. And, DAMN, watch that girl dance.
Through the three previous sets I had stood on the beer side of the venue. It’s weird. They have two separate sections: the stage area and the beer area. You can’t take beers to the stage side for some inane reason, but you can hear and see just fine from the beer side. Priorities straight, I stayed on the beer side for the three sets I hadn’t stood in pouring rain to see. Even better because it gave me and Charles plenty of space to dance during Kid Sister. We looked at the crowd and felt confident that between sets we’d be able to push our way to very near the front of the crowd. Not all the way, because then you have to look up, but like 15 or 20 feet back.
Of course, we were right. Years of metal shows teach you how to walk through a crowd.
We were right where we wanted to be when Chromeo came on to the stage. I maintain that these guys are our generation’s Hall & Oates. Pop funk duo taking cues from classic R&B? They just write more electro types of songs. All the blogs I’ve been reading call these guys joke-funk, but that just seems like a lazy description to me. Like one blogger wrote it, another read and stole it, and then the term spread. I like to think of Chromeo as good old party music. Does everything need to be a god damned ironic, tongue-in-cheek in-joke these days? Why not just allow for the possibility that these two French Canadians wrote great, catchy as hell, funky pop songs? I don’t think there’s anything that’s a joke about their music at all. Sure, they have fun, but that doesn’t make them a joke. Not everyone needs to be John Cage or Gaahl.
If I remember correctly, they started with “Tenderoni” but I honestly have no idea. It might have been another song. I do know that they played my favorite song of theirs, “Bonafied Loving,” and that they played “Night By Night.” Their performance was pretty damned tight, even if they had to cue about half the instruments from Dave 1’s laptop on the stage. Too many layers of shit going on not to either have a backing band or to have your laptop pumping out the jams. They chose the latter.
Luckily, it didn’t detract at all. Their energy on stage was infectious. The crowd danced and screamed and yelled and jumped and threw their hands into the air with wild abandon. It’s rare you get a crowd that is as into the band as this crowd was into Chromeo. I suppose there’s something about standing around in the rain for hours that brings the best out in people.
All in all, it was an amazing show. To my friends who were here in Brooklyn and decided not to come out because they were afraid of the rain, sucks to be you. You missed an awesome afternoon, an awesome adventure, and an awesome show. Maybe next summer you can catch the Pool Party again. OH WAIT. This is probably the last year! OOOH sting!
And, because I know you want to see more coverage of the show, here it is:
Brooklyn Vegan – Chromeo, Kid Sister, The Suzan & Telephoned played the Pool in the rain (Williamsburg Waterfront pics)
The Village Voice – Live: Chromeo Thrill A Soaked, Oft-Shoeless Jelly Pool Party Crowd With Rampant Corniness
The Village Voice – Brooklyn, This Is Your Rain Dance: Rating Audience Moves at Yesterday’s Chromeo Pool Party
The Village Voice – Pool Party with Chromeo Gallery (Can you find me in this gallery?! hint)
Stereogum – Chromeo, Kid Sister @ JellyNYC Pool Party, Williamsburg Waterfront 8/22/10
See you next time!