The Chromeo concert with What So Not, Four Tet and Jamie xx had all the trappings of a large-scale EDM concert, especially the elaborate lighting rigs and sets of music aimed at the dance-music crowd. Opener What So Not and, in particular, Four Tet should have had their set times pushed later in the evening, because the daylight botched the full effect of their light shows, which typically add dimension to their performances. Instead, the main visual aspect of these early sets was watching a guy on stage controlling a mix of sounds. The crowd came to dance, and managed to, even though Four Tet's markedly different set sounded like a dance-music version of Popol Vuh soundtracking the Werner Herzog film Aguirre, the Wrath of God, with the haunting synth work bouncing off the rocks.
In terms of light shows, Jamie xx's roughly-ninety-minute set benefited from the switchover from daylight to dark. Sensitive to the overall vibe of the evening, Jamie xx began his set by re-creating the sound of an early-’80s discotheque, in keeping with Chromeo's winking nods to the pop-culture excess and bombast of said decade. By the end of the set, however, Jamie xx had moved into darker, moodier territory.
Headliner Chromeo, of course, played up its persona as the long-lost party-rock band making the music for a ridiculous ’80s action movie. Borrowing unlikely elements from Prince's stage show, Survivor's melodramatic guitar rock and the Gap Band's funky flavor, Chromeo was clearly in on its own joke.
But the music itself isn't the only aspect of the concert experience, and more than other concerts, this show's lineup brought together one of the densest conglomerations of subcultures, unusual/questionable fashion choices, potential OKCupid dates gone weird and future Craigslist Missed Connections. Whether you got to see jam-band fans “preparing” for the experience in the parking lot or peeped the video screen that panned all the dancing weirdos in attendance, you observed fans from an unexpectedly broad spectrum of American-music subcultures. Never let it be said that Chromeo doesn't have an incredibly diverse fan base. What follows are some examples of this show's cornucopia of cultural oddities, some observed and some imagined.
1. I was that statuesque raver. You were the metrosexual with a shaved head looking like you just got off your shift at Aveda. Did we have a moment after I asked you if you had any molly?
2. You were my manic-pixie-dream-girl sporting glowing pink bunny ears. I was the guy wearing a tie-dyed chullo, Grateful Dead T-shirt and basketball shorts. When we talked, I recognized you from Holy Ship! 2015. Call me?
3. When you stuck your tongue out at me from the screen wearing your unironic PBR hat, it made the light diffracting glasses I bought at the show fog up. Email me if you're into a pulsating sword fight.
The Most Amusing Things Seen During the Show
1. Shoes with soles lit up with LEDs.
2. A jean jacket with a full back patch with the image of a brown bear.
3. Loads of grunge wear. The aforementioned jean jackets and lots of plaid. Apparently Throwback Thursday isn't just for social media anymore.
4. Flat-brimmed black hats with the words “Eazy” and “Holy Ship!” on the front in metallic lettering.
5. A white fur coat that lit up with various colors.
6. A furry animal-head hat. Apparently these are still a thing.
7. Skin-tight American-flag-print pants.
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SHOW ME HOW
8. Someone taking a photo of someone taking a photo of the stage-camera footage of someone shooting footage of the stage and the video screen in which the the latter person is visible.
Check out the full slideshow of Chromeo at Red Rocks.