If you played Chromeo’s wildly campy synth-pop to anyone who went to high school in the 1980s, chances are pretty good they’d blame a mid-life memory lapse for not remembering the words (wait, wasn’t this song played at prom?) But New York-based Chromeo—with Dave 1 on guitar and vocals and P-Thugg on keys and talkbox—are one of the best bands of today. Days before the duo’s Lollapalooza gig, down-to-earth Dave talked about Chicago hospitality (his brother A-Trak is Kanye West’s DJ and longtime boyfriend of our own Kid Sister), all those Chromeo imitators and, of course, he and P’s famous mannequin-leg props.
Have you ever attended Lollapalooza before?
I attended Lollapalooza in Montreal when I was 14 and it was still a touring festival. It was George Clinton, Tribe Called Quest and Beastie Boys back-to-back. P and I went together and it was probably one of our best moments—I remember just dancing in the crowd and just moving it.
Have you and P planned any cool stage setup or anything for your performance?
We have our now world-famous mannequin legs [that hold up the keyboards and synthesizers]. The legs have never come to Chicago, so they’re gonna “walk it out” Midwest-style.
Will you be introducing any new tracks or collaborating with any of your Chicago friends?
Maybe we’ll collab with my brother’s girlfriend [Kid Sister], but I really think people get a kick out of us doing our music in a vacuum. I mean, people didn’t really collaborate with Huey Lewis that much.
When you’re not on stage here in the Windy, what do you hope to do? Any certain spots you want to hit up?
I’m pretty sure we’ll end up going to Hot Doug’s, but if we don’t, it pretty much defeats the purpose of going to Chicago.
What do you think about all the Chromeo imitators out there?
I’m flattered. But the whole thing with me and P is that it’s a story that started when we were 15. You can’t replicate that. We’re high-school best-buddies.
And who woulda thought it’d lead you here?
Yeah, you know that 15-year-old kid who was at Lollapalooza in 1994? I wish I could go back and let him know. (Jen Boyles)
Chromeo performs at Lollapalooza in Grant Park on August 3 at 3:15pm. $80 for single day passes, $205 for three-day passes.
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