Patriotism, fireworks and disco were the ultimate recipe for a fantastic fourth of July celebration in Los Angeles. This was the first of three Nile Rodgers & CHIC at the Hollywood Bowl performances and fans simply couldn’t stay in their seats.
The concert began with American classics by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by conductor Thomas Wilkins. They opened the night with some light, feel-good music from John Williams and more. But the Drumline, who notoriously performed with Beyonce during her Coachella set and were featured on her blockbuster documentary Homecoming, kicked things up a notch with dancers and crowd integration as the brass and drum ensemble played songs one might hear at a sporting event.
Nile Rodgers & CHIC took the stage to massive cheers from the crowd and started with “Everybody Dance” which had everyone up out of their seats. “We play Dance music… is that a little bit of a hint?” Rodgers said to the crowd, beckoning them out of their seats and on the dance floor. The CHIC trio never stopped moving and Kimberly Davis’ voice was absolutely show-stopping “The next song is very special to me” Rodgers introduced, “I Want Your Love,” which featured slow, lush strings from the LA Phil before the funk beats came in.
“We’ve played here so many times you guys feel like family to us,” Rodgers said to the crowd as he invited everyone to sing to a medley of songs he produced for artist collaborations including “I’m Coming Out” and Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family.” The crowd sang and danced along to some of the most popular disco songs ever written. Rodgers’ covers were popular this evening, as the band also played Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” and their soulful rendition of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” The audience was equally impressed when the drummer took the vocals in a rendition of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” A somber moment was shared with the crowd as Rodgers shared openly about his battle with cancer, but that didn’t seem to dampen his nor the audience’s spirits that night.
A band came out in single file to present the firework spectacular, and patriotic anthems rang through the air as the sky lit up for a full display of fireworks, most of which were red, white and blue. But the band wasn’t quite finished…
“You ready to put on your dancing shoes? We’re gonna take you back to disco ‘good times,’” Rodgers said to the crowd as he addressed them one final time before closing with “Good Times.”
Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)
I Want Your Love
I’m Coming Out / Upside Down / He’s the Greatest Dancer / We Are Family
Like a Virgin/ Modern Love (Madonna & David Bowie Covers)
Lost in Music (Sister Sledge cover)
Get Lucky (Daft Punk cover)
Let’s Dance (David Bowie cover)
Good Times / Rapper’s Delight