Concert Reviews

LMFAO at Red Rocks, 5/28/12


The long climb up the stairs at Red Rocks seems even longer when those stairs are littered with party rockers, all of whom seem too tired to trudge onward -- or, as was the case with one particularly fascinating man, unable to bring in their handheld strobe light. Once inside, though, it's a sea of neon lights and robot heads, and there, at the helm of it all, stand the pied pipers, RedFoo and SkyBlu, the dick-wigglin', party rockin' pair of maestros of LMFAO, who worked hard last night to uphold every appropriate, and inappropriate, adjective that comes to mind when you think of their songs.

LMFAO's non-stop party, almost two hours in total, proved two things: RedFoo and SkyBlu are not whores (but they like to have sex) and they're not as sorry for party rocking as they may let on. Nowhere were either of these two things more evident than during "Shots," LMFAO's ode to sex, drinking and the club -- much like all of their other songs but with a more drunken relatability.

During "Shots," RedFoo took the beer bong like a pro, while party rockers young and old -- including actual fans, not just parents, in their mid-50s -- were lifting up their cups in a salute to party escapism. Other songs rife with classic LMFAO vocabulary -- specifically "club," "booty," "party rock" -- were transformed into distinct, equally raucous party anthems. When paired with the energy of RedFoo and SkyBlu in the amphitheater setting, songs like "I Am Not A Whore," "La La La" and "Yes" went from above average to purely decadent dance-pop.

But then, just when you start to appreciate RedFoo and SkyBlu for being strong, confident performers, they turn around and start singing about hot dogs. Granted, the segue into "Hot Dog" was seamless ("I like to get a sandwich after I do my thing," said SkyBlu, and "Usually I do it in a club, then I like to get a hot dog," said RedFoo), the song itself amped up the already cheese-tastic nature of the set -- especially when garnished with a dancer donning a hot dog costume. (Ke$ha did it better when she had one of her dancers, dressed in a penis costume, join her onstage in Denver for "Grow A Pear" last year.)

Nevertheless, the tune fits what SkyBlu and RedFoo are going for -- fun. And it was just that last night, fun, every sense of the word, climaxing perfectly with the final two songs, "Champagne Showers" and "Sexy and I Know It." During the former, a woman gladly let SkyBlue champagne-shower all over her face. Strangely, whereas all of the other song performances matched the audio quality of the studio versions, the live version of "Champagne Showers" by no means matched -- not even the rapping -- and some of the synths translated really poorly.

None of that mattered by the time RedFoo and the dancers whipped off their pants and bounced in time to "Sexy and I Know It." The choreography was near-identical to that used in the corresponding music video, save a few ass wiggles and even an intentional cheek slip, yet the performance still managed to be the highlight of the night, even if mostly every second of it played more with predictability than with shock value. (The few short seconds that did manage to surprise had to do with SkyBlu wearing a pair of boxer briefs with an elephant face and very long trunk -- so long, in fact, that he could jump rope with it.)

By the end of the show, it was no wonder so many more party rockers looked bruised and broken -- one guy even threw out his back! -- along the Red Rocks stairs: as RedFoo and SkyBlu proved, it takes a lot of energy to have fun.


Personal Bias: This is the third time I've seen LMFAO perform live. The first two times, LMFAO was opening for the Black Eyed Peas and Ke$ha and came across really awkwardly, like the duo had all of this untapped music potential that just wasn't translating live. Barring "Champagne Showers," the opposite was true last night

Random Detail: Somehow I managed to end up in the most aggressive of the general admissions seating areas. During the show, two older gents -- maybe in their late 40s -- got into fisticuffs for no apparent reason. Even better: Their two girlfriends/wives ended up fighting each other too, until they became a giant cluster of hostility. The best part: One LMFAO fan managed to continue party rocking around these four fighters until security broke them up.

By The Way: Quest Crew, the winners of America's Best Dance Crew season three, appeared twice last night -- once during the beginning of LMFAO's set and once in the middle of it, after "Shots." For the second performance, Quest Crew took to the stage for easily a fifteen-minute dance break, a whopping 47 seconds of which saw one of the crew dancers spin on his head break-dance-style.

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Cory Lamz
Contact: Cory Lamz