Chromeo with Diddy, in case you were wondering exactly how popular Chromeo is
It is 2014, and Chromeo is a popular band. For a decade now, they have soldiered on, purveyors of their own brand of tongue-in-cheek, revivalist electro-funk, garnering a sizable following and now, a genuine pop hit on their hands with “Jealous (I Ain’t With It).” These are not things we think about when we think about Chromeo, though. We think about the tall, aggressively nebbish, swaggily anti-swaggy Dave1 and the short but conventionally-swaggy talkbox wizard P-Thugg, trotting their buckets of synths out every few years, releasing three killer singles that everyone loves, then fading back into whatever ethereal netherland they came from—Canada? The Fools Gold store in Brooklyn? One big room full of Hall & Oates masters?—like this GIF of Homer Simpson receding into some bushes:
This formula—show up, be charming, go away just long enough so that when you come back people sort of vaguely remember they love you—is the de facto blueprint for a band to become incrementally more popular. With every album, Chromeo has managed to become even more Chromeo-esque, sublimating freely from ironic appreciation to earnest pastiche to the point where they don’t even know the difference anymore.
This is an extremely long-winded way of saying that at Chromeo’s show at Terminal 5 last night, Dave1 and P-Thugg did a synchronized two-step with their backs facing the audience before Dave1 ripped a solo on an all-chrome guitar while three stories of drunk people screamed along. The joke, it seems, is on everybody else, because Chromeo have made being a pair of unrepentant goofballs cool as all motherfuck.
So, we have established that people love Chromeo. But who are those people? Judging by the turnout last night, Chromeo has crossed over into the coveted market of normal-ass motherfuckers. Which, for them, is tight. Being a beloved alt curio is fun and all, but it doesn’t really pay the bills. Making music that appeals enough to Johnny—that boring dude who lived down the hall from you sophomore year who studied Marketing, said the word “noice,” and ended up doing SEO for Ameritrade—however, is a great way to pay the bills. Unlike you, Johnny Who Says Noice is totally down to spend $35 on Chromeo tickets, take a cab to some odious venue in Midtown, and buy a million Heinekins at the show, singlehandedly putting more money in a band’s pocket than four stingy waiters/freelance graphic designers would dream of spending at a Deafheaven show at 285 Kent (R.I.P.).
This is, again, great for Chromeo. They’re a band I’ve enjoyed for years and they’re 100% deserving of whatever success that comes to them. If they have more money, they will be able to buy more ridiculous all-chrome instruments, the shininess of which will somehow allow them to play bigger and bigger venues and attract more and more people who say “noice.” They will probably, at some point soon, conquer the world, or at least put out an extremely high-selling Greatest Hits album. As they say in normal-ass Chromeo fan world, Epic Win.
Drew Millard is mesmerized by chrome. He's on Twitter - @drewmillard