The Chic organisation’s main anchor man, Nile Rodgers, loves playing live. He may shine in the studio writing or producing hits for David Bowie, Sister Sledge and Diana Ross amongst many others, but he still thrives on the adulation of this Dublin crowd. Out shaking hands before the set, he is in buoyant mood. His setlist reads like a -name the missing tune’ of the entire history of disco and beyond. This second night capacity crowd in Tripod saw Chic come on in celebratory mood and tore through a selection of immediately recognisable hits from the -70s -80s and beyond. Despite some question marks on the sound quality the previous night, the band were crystal clear. Indeed the crispness of guitar in particular was amazing. Classic disco anthems -Everybody Dance’ and -Dance, Dance, Dance’ fulfilled their titles aim and got the crowd moving. My own personal fear was Rodgers was firing his big guns too early. Concerns that proved unfounded. There was still space for a generous medley (nearly full songs) of tracks he wrote and produced for Diana Ross (-I’m Coming Out’ and -Upside Down’) followed by Sister Sledge (-He’s The Greatest Dancer’ and -We Are Family’). His claim that he wrote and produced all the hits tonight was slightly disingenuous – his back-to-back numbers of -Like A Virgin’ and -Let’s Dance’ were originally mainly him on the knobs: how much he contributed to the writing is open to interpretation.
Without a hint of arrogance, just assurance of his part in the greatest disco and dance songs of the 20th century, he then reminded everyone of the inescapable anthems he crafted: -Le Freak’ followed by -Good Times’ one of the most sampled tracks ever. His live version of -Good Times’ was updated to include the Sugar Hill Gang rap version – a non-conceited acknowledgement of the importance and greatness of the song, possibly in improved form.
A great evening’s entertainment, even the most intransigent men with feet firmly nailed to the floor couldn’t help but be moved to dance.
Photo by Fionn Kidney from Electric Picnic 09.