Remember that movie She’s All That? You know the story. Laney Boggs is the loser girl (who’s actually really hot but she doesn’t wear make-up and she’s got a pony tail *GASP*) who becomes the most popular girl in school after Zach Siler (played by Freddie Prinze Jr.) takes a liking to her. That’s sort of what Stubb’s was like on Tuesday. It started off pretty awkward, started getting cooler halfway through and became the “most popular girl in school” by the end of the night.
The DJ/singer combo of Telephoned kicked things off with a set of covers that they reworked heavily into almost completely new songs. It was kind of charming, but no amount of kitsch could hide the fact that the crowd wasn’t feeling it and the performance just wasn’t that entertaining.
I guess Chromeo should have seen it coming when they invited a cover band to play a show with them, but the duo that makes up Telephoned decided to throw a cover of “Night by Night” into their set. It was a bold move and was one of the highlights of their set, but that says more about how ho-hum their performance was and less about how well they pulled off the cover.
|Holy Ghost! at Stubb’s|
Holy Ghost! was up next and delivered a set of epic dance jams. The band opened with “Say My Name” and fluidly transitioned into their next couple of songs. It was refreshing to see an actual band at a dance show. Samples and loops are fine, but there’s nothing like seeing an actual human being creating the sounds right in front of you. Something about seeing them shuffle with strings, sticks and keys right in front of you hearkens back to a time before synths and vocoders when Harding would have call girls over to the White House, all music was about dancing and giggly juice didn’t cost $4.50 per can.
Songs like “Static on the Wire” and “Say My Name” took on a huge, raw feel that isn’t necessarily translated on the band’s studio material. The guitar solo in the middle of “Static” sounded huge and anthemic. This was my initiation into the world of Holy Ghost! and as soon as I got home I swung by their MySpace to get a few more listens and wind down my night.
Dave 1 and P-Thugg took the stage to the crowd’s chant of “Chrom-e-ooo, ooo-oh!” and reveled in the praise of their faithful. Those who think the nicknames are a bit douchey should know that when Dave 1 walked behind the stage before Holy Ghost’s set even began, and his face was visible for all of, like, three seconds, the crowd erupted in cheers and salacious solicitations that would make Gene Simmons blush. I could have sworn this kind of fandom (read: obsession) only existed between juggalos and usually climaxed with Tila Tequila getting ambushed. But alas, people really love this dude.
|Chromeo at Stubb’s|
So the duo jumped right into their first song, “Outta Sight,” from “Fancy Footwork.” One of the only chinks in the armor of the dance-inducing duo occurred in the middle of the song. Dave’s guitar had the suck turned up to 11 and after staring daggers at the sound guy, the problem vanished but not in time for the song to lose some of it’s punch.
For the next hour, the duo prowled the stage, posed for cameras and just generally put out the vibe. Their set included songs spanning their entire discography including “Needy Girl,” “Tenderoni” and “Don’t Turn the Lights On,” from the forthcoming Business Casual.
The entire thing, from the self-referential intro to the camera poses, was a bit self-indulgent but music with this kind of swagger demands some ego. The last thing you want is some self-depricating jokester. If Dave were to pull an Aaron Weiss and throw the mic on the ground and sing into it as the stage became very intimate with his face, I would just walk away confused. And it’s hard not to enjoy (and envy) the bravado of Dave and Thugg. So every time Dave raised his guitar and leaned into the back of Thugg who was tearing up one of his myriad synthesizers, I went crazy along with everyone else. And I left, not confused, but jealous.
Chromeo, Holy Ghost! and Telephoned performed at Stubb’s in Austin on Aug. 24.