Columbia is more than just “Upper West Side Soweto.” Chromeo’s performance at Bowery Ballroom Monday night showed off the cheekier side of Ivy League music.

Despite the recent flurry of hype surrounding Vampire Weekend, they are not the only Columbia-related band selling out Bowery Ballroom. Chromeo anyone? A French grad student and T.A. by day, David Macklovitch has amassed a number of glowing CULPA reviews. However, he also doubles as Dave 1, and along with bandmate P-Thugg, the duo is known as the (somewhat ironic) electrofunk group Chromeo.

Making the night family affair, Dave 1’s little brother, A-Trak DJed between sets. Spinning mash-ups from Dirty South Dance ensured the crowd never had to stop dancing. Opener Kid Sister bemoaned her current cold and lack of health insurance, perhaps as a reference to the upcoming elections. Though her bumping and grinding masked any symptoms of illness, and her sequined beret and flashy nails also helped. Vivacious and brash, but not overtly sexual, Kid Sister is a b-boy’s wet dream.

Image-wise, Chromeo is slick and smooth. After all, their name is a combination of chrome and Romeo, and the sound doesn’t stray far from its heavy-duty lovin’ origins. Chromeo completely embraces their over-the-top image with a similar show, replete with flashing lights, two plastic pairs of shapely gams, and a disco ball.

The crowd went wild at the first strains of  “Intro” and chanted “Chromeo” in unison. The energy remained at a high for the entire show; even during slow jams like “Momma’s Boy” and “100%” people were still eagerly bopping around. Although the infectiousness of the music is certainly enough to keep people dancing, Chromeo hammed it up. Dave 1 is a showman, playing his guitar back-to-back with P-Thugg Van Halen-style and even pulled a few moves reminiscent of Prince and Rick James. Admittedly, my personal highlight was when Chromeo performed a medley of bombastic 80s power anthems, classics including The Outfield’s “Your Love” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” These days it’s rare to see so many people so unabashedly air-pump to The Outfield, even if it is with a dash of irony, so big ups to Chromeo for bringing out the fun in people.



(Photos by baonguyen