Just after last night’s John Legend season opener at the Hollywood Bowl, on Sunday night Toro Y Moi performed mostly new songs off their latest album Outer Peace while Chromeo, backed with a full band courtesy of the Funklordz, played some deep cuts for their fans. Between their sets, KCRW Music Director and Morning Becomes Eclectic host Jason Bentley announced that he would be stepping down from KCRW and that this night might be the “last time we’d see him for a while” before he introduced Chromeo. “We’ve played MBE more times than we can count,” singer David Macklovich aka “Dave 1” said to the crowd before thanking Bentley and KCRW for their support.
Montreal-based, electro-funk duo Chromeo headlined the show with just over an hour of dance-worthy funk and pop that had everyone up out of their seats. Backed with a full band, which included not one but two drummers, the duo opened with a brief intro before diving right into “Fancy Footwork.” Dave 1 and company hyped up the crowd by asking everyone to put their hands in the air on multiple occasions. “We opened for The Chemical Brothers at the Hollywood Bowl nine years ago and we played this song,” he said as he introduced “Bonafide Lovin'” which had the crowd joining in on the “oh oh oh oh” part. The duo really pulled on their die-hard fans’ heartstrings with several throwback moments and deep cuts. “We’re gonna take it back to 2010, our third album,” Dave 1 said before the next song, “Hot Mess,” which hearkened back to an ’80s inspired sound with fuller bass and flashing white lights.
He introduced the Funklordz, their backing band for the evening. “We can play the deep cuts and random tracks,” he re-iterated before going into “Liar” which had rainbow lights flashing all across the stage. Dave 1 and Patrick “P-Thugg” Gemayel had a matching chrome guitar and bass, which beamed into the crowd as the lights struck them. The duo came up to the very front of the stage for a funky guitar and bass slapping solo that had the crowd clapping along. “L.A., can I hear you scream?” said P-Thugg in an alien-like distorted voice hyping the crowd . “Even the VIP people in the front! Finish your food and scream!”
“We’ve been playing L.A. for a while and we imagine we have some day one, old school fans,” they said before going into “Night By Night.” “We’re gonna play the first song we ever released with Chromeo 15 years ago,” they said later as they introduced “Needy Girl.” During “Over Your Shoulder” Dave 1 went down the runway barrier between the VIP and box seats and the crowd nearby got up to dance. They had everyone put their cell phone flashlights up, creating a sea of beautiful twinkling lights from the box seats to the bleachers during “Old 45s.” Opening artist Chaz Bear of Toro Y Moi joined them on stage for “Must’ve Been.”
With a new album release Outer Peace under their belt just this year, Toro Y Moi performed an hour-long set, opening before Chromeo’s headlining set. The band members donned bright yellow construction jackets for their entrance which they took off before performing “Still Sound.” Chaz Bear took the mic and was free of instruments for the majority of the set as he danced across the stage for several tracks including the new, funky “Laws of the Universe.” After a round of danceable tracks, he slowed things down with the sultry number “Grown Up Calls.”
Their stage setup was complete with congas and percussion along with a globe lamp and some mushroom lamps subtly placed in the backdrop. The bass dropped for the trippy, hip-hop-inspired “Monte Carlo” which bear used auto tune on his vocals for. Chaz Bear slinked right up to the crowd and sang to those sitting in the front. Several audience members got up from their seats to dance to perhaps the most popular song off their latest album, “Fading.”
As the sun went down, the stage lighting was more noticeable. The lights changed to cool blues for “Girl Like You.” “50-50” allowed a moment of introspection with the lyrics, “for a second I forgot who I was” as some let the lyrics sink in and some couples shared an embrace. As the sky darkened, the globe light resembled more of a small moon in the backdrop. “We’re gonna play ‘New Beat’ for you guys,” Bear said before going into the previously unscheduled song with bright flashing disco lights. Chaz gave a shoutout to Chromeo and KCRW and introduced his other band members before closing with on a high note with “Freelance.”
Noname was scheduled to perform, but pulled out due to illness. Blood Orange frequent collaborator Ian Isaiah kicked off the evening with a brief 20-minute set of R&B infusion.
Night By Night
Over Your Shoulder
One Track Mind
Count Me Out/Jealous
Toro Y Moi Setlist:
Laws of the Universe
Grown Up Calls
Girl Like You
Who I Am
Baby Drive It Down
File photo: Sharon Alagna