Neve’s deeply late reviews return, and it’s an explosive event to review at that; because undeniably, Nile Rodgers and Chic. Was. Just maybe. The best gig of my life.
Okay, so I’ve been lucky enough to bear witness to an array of incredible gigs in my short life thus far. I’ve seen Mccartney, Paul Simon, The Stones (twice!), Weller, M*rrissey (an embarrassing amount of times) and even my hero, David Byrne. It’s a high standard I’ve set myself, an untoppable level of gigs some might say. But genuinely, with no hyperbole, Chic at the Warehouse Project last month took some bleedin’ beatin’. Nile and his funky friends battle McCartney for top spot of the best concert I’ve ever attended. This is some big talk, I know.
So. Why? How? Let’s start by dissecting the marvel of a setlist, shall we?
- Chic Cheer (Chic) “CHIC, CHIC!” Filth.
- Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah) (Chic) “KEEP ON DANCIN’!” Physically impossible to not groove to this.
- Everybody Dance (Chic) I mean come on. Does what it says on the tin.
- I Want Your Love (Chic) An absolute classic disco tune. It was a privilege to hear live.
- I’m Coming Out (Diana Ross cover) Do you know how gloriously my gay little heart burst open hearing the intro to this?
- Upside Down (Diana Ross cover) “AROUND AND ROUND YOU’RE TURNIN’ ME…”
- He’s the Greatest Dancer (Sister Sledge cover) The bass has no right to be this funky.
- We Are Family (Sister Sledge cover) Hearing this one surrounded by some of your closest pals instils you with a real sense of fraternity, I’ll tell ya.
- Like a Virgin / Material Girl (Madonna cover) I wouldn’t even call myself a huge Madonna fan but this made my head EXPLODE. Tunes.
- Modern Love (David Bowie cover) Made me emotional as all hell. I felt and knew in my heart that this was the closest I’d ever get to seeing Bowie.
- Spacer (Sheila & B. Devotion cover) Span this one on the radio once or twice, big glover of this song.
- Soup for One (Chic) Underrated beyond belief.
- Lady (Hear Me Tonight) (Modjo cover) GTA V says “hello!” Again, filth.
- Lost in Music (Sister Sledge cover) This setlist was getting to a CRAZY good level at this point.
- Notorious (Duran Duran cover) Christ, this sounded good. SO distinctively Nile.
- Thinking of You (Sister Sledge cover) Genuinely one of my absolute favourite songs ever. Just as gorgeous in real life. Underneath a glittering disco ball as well, are you mad.
- My Feet Keep Dancing (Chic) And keep dancing they did. I was sweating like I’d done a full work-out by now.
- Get Lucky (Daft Punk cover) I’m a huge Daft Punk fan, and all I can say about this performance was that Limmy was right – this tune really was the Sound of the Summer.
- My Forbidden Lover (Chic) Risqué was such a ridiculously sick album.
- Let’s Dance (David Bowie cover) XRTCYVUBHNIJMK,…. No words, just key smash.
- Le Freak (Chic) I think everyone was waiting for this one, weren’t they? Freak out!
- Good Times (Chic) What a way to end the night. An excellent, excellent song to finish on.
So, now you see, don’t you? I have no choice but to coin this evening one of the greatest concerts to ever take place. Like, ever. Nile Rodgers is arguably one of the greatest people to ever exist, on that note. He grinned and laughed his way through the set, peppering each song with fascinating anecdotes. His humility is so endearing. When Chic presented Nile for his personal applause he looked so shy and retiring, as though he isn’t the undisputed Don of Disco To see every member on stage just having the time of their lives, and to glance around and to see everyone in attendance having an energy exchange of an equally excited time was just the icing on the cake. Girls were on shoulders bopping, couples twirled under the mammoth disco ball, and the age range of gig-goers was so joyously random. It shows how enduring Chic’s legacy are, that there was something for everyone present.
I left the gig with, amazingly, an even higher level of respect and adoration for Rodgers that I did not know could have been built upon. A man of great talent, intellect and humour, who has the most chilled yet authoritative command of a crowd I think I may have ever seen. I will without a doubt be rushing to see Nile Rodgers & Chic in future; even if it’s the exact same dynamite setlist (which was catered so carefully to old fans and new lovers of Chic alike; I was very impressed with their crowd-pleasing curation of such). The band were on top form, spirits were sensationally high, and I was genuinely distraught to hear it was the end of the show. I could have jived under those lights for, likely, lightyears. God bless Chic. And, one last time, let’s cheer…