There’s nothing like a CHIC party and tonight, for the first time in 37 years, Liverpool got to experience one again finally. SFN’s Jack Cinnamond caught the fever.
Let’s get this out of the way first, there’s nobody like Nile Rodgers. The man paved way for the ultimate disco sound and spends everyday of his life creating music, oftentimes for others. “Diana Ross, Daft Punk, David Bowie, and they’re only the D’s” he proudly and honestly proclaims.
The current live experience that is CHIC is simply a well-devised, perfect extension of Nile Rodgers, that is used to bring a huge disco party to any place they go.
Entering to an explosive uproar from the fevered sold-out crowd at the Echo Arena, Nile and his band bounce into the perfect opener, “Everybody Dance”.
Almost everything that Nile has touched has become pure gold and that’s not just his work with others, as he shows with his opening trio of CHIC classics including “Dance, Dance, Dance” and “I Want Your Love”.
Nile addresses the crowd after their heavy-CHIC open to talk his work with others, before a wonderful medley of his works, with Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out”/“Upside Down”, Sister Sledge’s “He’s The Greatest Dancer”/“We Are Family” all flying high one-after-another.
It’s very hard to stop dancing. “Soup for One” and “Lady” follow-on, it’s a perfect showing of CHIC and Rodgers, more than we could’ve asked for.
CHIC are a well-oiled machine tonight, terrifically backing up each-others moves. Vocalists Kimberly Davis and Folami Thompson tear the roof off the Echo Arena with their storming voices, while everything else from the drums to the brass section is tight and actually quite stunning.
Tonight the hits come in waves, his Midas Touch is on show constantly, especially when CHIC burst into Madonna’s “Like A Virgin”, then Sister Sledge’s “Lost in Music” then Duran Duran’s “Notorious” and then more, it’s euphoric and astonishing.
It continues, with a highlight (among highlights!) with beloved CHIC number “My Feet Keep Dancing”. However, we’ve got to slow down.
Rodgers takes it down just once as he tells the heartbreaking story of his 2010 cancer battle, in-which he explains he was set to get his affairs in order, before he worked on what he thought-to-be his final song, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”.
It’s a warm moment when he tells of his victory and how he feels like the “luckiest man in the world” before the wonderous, infectious “Get Lucky” arrives.
Addimitly, we all sang.
Just a few numbers later, Rodgers takes a very well earned break as CHIC drummer Ralph Rolle takes over to keep the hot crowd involved. Not only does it feel amazing that CHIC can sell-out Arenas many many years after disco died, it’s like they’ve always belonged on a huge stage with a massive stage-show.
Rolle leads a storming sing-a-long with David Bowie’s charming dancing hit “Let’s Dance”.
The mirror-ball disco experience come an end with no encore, just the two final CHIC hits. “Le Freak” comes in swinging and finally an on-stage Studio–54 flavoured dance party with “Good Times”, even with Rodgers reciting the lyrics to the sampling rap introducing “Rapper’s Delight” throughout.
There’s some special gigs to come through our fair city, but this is the top. Where you can’t place your finger on the pulse, what makes it feel so perfect. All you can do is dance, and that’s alright, that’s what CHIC wants you to do.
Words by Jack Cinnamond and photography by Planet Slop’s Vicky Pea. Read the Planet Slop review here!