PHOTOS: Chromeo creates an electro-funk symbiosis at the Greek Theatre


Chromeo performs at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley on June 15, 2019. Photos: Joaquin Cabello.

SAN FRANCISCO — Chromeo had one main intention at the Greek Theatre Saturday night: to create one gigantic outdoor dance party. The Canadian electro-funk duo repeatedly demanded, “I wanna see you dancing!”

David “Dave 1” Macklovitch and Patrick “P-Thugg” Gemayel, backed by a full band, blended references from blue-eyed soul, dance, rock, synth-pop, disco and, primarily, funk. Cuts like “Fancy Footwork,” from 2007’s album of the same name, and “Bad Decision,” off its latest release, 2018’s Head Over Heelsopened the show.


Chromeo performs at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley on June 15, 2019.

Dave 1 shared the origins of each song and funk’s importance in Chromeo’s music. He became emotional introducing “Needy Girl,” from 2004’s She’s in Control, “the first song we ever put out 15 years ago.”

Chromeo’s charisma was impressive; especially Dave 1’s. The duo jumped into “Don’t Sleep,” continued with the funky bass line of “Over Your Shoulder,” and followed that with “Old 45’s.”

The performance of “Come Alive” proved to be the peak of the performance, with Chaz Bear of Toro Y Moi appearing on stage to perform his feature on the song.

“We gotta get back into some funk quick; let’s go” Dave 1 said, leading the band into “Count Me Out,” off Head Over Heels, before concluding with “Jealous (I Ain’t With It),” from White Women.

Toro y Moi, Chaz Bear

Toro y Moi performs at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley on June 15, 2019.

Toro y Moi preceded the headliners with a set of chill-wave and synth-pop sounds. There was a clear influence of ’80s R&B, pop and electronic music during the Bay Area artist’s set. Chaz Bear’s dancing contrasted the laid-back mood of the songs

He began with “Mirage” and “No Show,” from 2017’s Boo Boo, and followed with “Ordinary Pleasure,” from 2019’s Outer Peace. The latter showed the groovier ideas from that album—a notable departure from the more contemplative cuts that opened the performance.

The dynamic of Toro y Moi’s sound was seen during the whole performance. The funky sounds of “Still Sound,” from 2011’s Underneath the Pine, were followed by the more mature groove of “Laws of the Universe,” which closer resembled French minimalist techno. He continued with “Grown Up Calls,” from 2013’s Anything in Return.

“This next song is about driving around the bay” Chaz Bear said to introduce “Monte Carlo.”

People danced to the songs, mimicking Toro y Moi’s own moves. He clearly enjoyed being on stage.

“Girl Like You” and minimalist techno cut “Who I Am” came next. “So Many Details” and “50/50”  followed, once again presenting a contrast of sounds. Toro y Moi’s funky, ambient and Eurodance elements were present throughout. But the set concluded with a minimal-wave combination of s songs like “Say That,” “New House” and “Baby Drive It Down.”

Brooklyn R&B singer-songwriter Ian Isiah gave a gospel-infused performance to open the show, improvising a lot over his own songs. He created a quiet environment through a very soulful voice that ranged from deep notes to a falsetto with ease. His set included “Smoke,” from his 2018 EP, and “Bedroom,” “Killup” and “247,” from 2018’s Shugga Sextape Volume 1.

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