On Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. on the main stage at the Sasquatch Music Festival, Chromeo felt it had something to prove. Veterans of this annual event, this was Chromeo’s first time on the central stage in a pivotal timeslot. And if the two men who play guitar, keyboards, and just about every other instrument you can name are to be believed, it meant something to them.
Leading with “Night by Night”, Montrealers David Macklovitch and Patrick Gemayel played their brand of electronic dance pop with aplomb. With cardboard cutouts of women’s legs by their keyboard stations, Chromeo came as advertised: hip-shaking.
A couple of songs in, Macklovitch told the crowd that they had to fight for this position in the lineup.
“We feel like we deserve to be here," he said. "Actually, no. Scratch that. You deserve to be here.”
It’s understandable that festival organizers might have considered the Bigfoot stage or El Chupacabra stage better options for the duo and, admittedly, that idea has some validity. To Chromeo’s credit, though, the band had everyone in the crowd moving and shaking for the duration of its hour-long set.
“Bonafide Lovin’” and “Fancy Footwork” were favourites with Gemayel taking the mic between the two and asking (through a synthesizer): “What up Sasquaaaatch?” Are you having a good time?” It added some funny to a performance that never tried to take itself too seriously.
“Over Your Shoulder” began with a call to festival security to please let girls get up on the shoulders of “some guy, any guy you can find,” to which the guards begrudgingly obliged.
As soon as the beginning chords to “Jealous” were started in on, the crowd went crazy. That song, a radio smash and probably part of the reason organizers allowed the band to take this timeslot, sparked a mass sing a long and chants of “CHRO-ME-O”.
Macklovitch was smiling throughout the performance and, when it ended too soon with “Needy Girl,” the first song they ever performed, you couldn’t help but feel elated. Would a longer, more intimate set at a smaller stage have been better? Maybe. But those days for Chromeo are over. Get used to it.