Last Night: LMFAO at Toyota Center
LMFAO Toyota Center June 12, 2012
Check out our photos of LMFAO and fans in our slideshow.
One imagines it's both easy and difficult being in LMFAO. You write songs about drinking and getting laid (easy) that are crass enough to seem edgy to teens while not being so crass that parents will keep their kids from listening to it (difficult). It's a delicate balance, but if the duo's stop at the Toyota Center Tuesday is any indication then it appears they have things well under control.
Part concert, part dance party, part club night, part Chippendales, the Sorry For Party Rocking Tour features Redfoo (he has the afro) and SkyBlu (he has the better physique), their backing band, and dance group the Quest Crew hitting the stage for a show that starts with a shuffling zebra and ends with a lot of guys dancing onstage in Speedos, with some champagne showers and beach balls in the middle.
Like I said, it's a delicate balance.
Before the main event, LMFAO labelmates Far East Movement hit the stage to run through songs from their new album as well as their two older hits. They're a natural fit for a tour like this because they too focus the bulk of their songwriting on what happens in the club.
Unfortunately, there's not a lot that's really remarkable about them.
"Like A G6" is their best known song and is a good example of their problem as a group. While it hit number one on the Hot 100, the group is literally the least interesting thing about the song. What makes the song is the hook, and that's just something they sampled from an older song by Dev.
The rest of their material didn't do much for large chunks of the crowd. Before they took the stage, DJ Sidney Sampson was spinning tracks, and more people sang along when he put on "Somebody That I Used To Know" than they did for pretty much everything FEM played.
Part of the problem it seems would be the sound mix. While they had a live drummer playing on every track, most of the time he was buried behind the prerecorded stuff the DJ was playing causing some of the tracks to lose a lot power.
I'm not the type to have a problem with a group if they want to rap over a DJ, but it's worth noting that when the band did turn up the drums and pull out a real guitar the performance improved dramatically. Perhaps with a few more tours and a few more hits they can work out the kinks in their current setup.
While the crowd might have spent most of the opening acts sitting, they came alive once the headliners hit the stage. These weren't just casual fans that came to hear the hits; there were a lot of people in the building who've spent a lot of time with the band's records.
The show itself was one of constant stimulation. It was a lot like going to Las Vegas: Tons of flashing lights, people who looked like a hot mess, and dance music everywhere. In fact, you get the feeling that if this whole "party rock" thing doesn't work out that these guys could have a hell of a career in Vegas, running through a history of songs about partying. The groundwork is already being set; not only did they do a cover of "Boom Boom Pow," but sprinkled in bits of Guns N' Roses and Van Halen during "Shots."
The show itself falls in to a routine pretty quick: they play a song, when it's finished the dancers disappear backstage to change outfits, Redfoo and SkyBlue banter back and forth a bit, and then the next song plays. The banter is forced at times, but you can't fault them for trying to give the dancers some time to catch their breath.
Ultimately, LMFAO are a one trick pony, and your enjoyment of the show really comes down to how much you enjoy that one trick. People who were there to see the band spent their time in an almost constant state of movement and joy. The people who brought their children or were there with a significant other spent most of the time just sort of standing around, taking it all in, and occasionally checking their watches.
As for the delicate balance of crass and safe, in the end this was a strictly PG-13 affair. I only counted one "motherfucker" during their entire performance. Apparently explaining that sex is best when it's "face down, ass up" is fine as long as you say "when we do it" instead of "that's the way we like to fuck."
And that's probably the way it has to be if they want to keep playing arenas. After all, what parent in their right mind is going to shell out for concert tickets and buy their 12 year old a "Sexy And I Know It" shirt with that kind of vulgarity being said.
Judging by the amount of preteens I saw in those shirts, I can sleep easily knowing the group has everything under control.
Personal Bias: I bought "Shots" from the iTunes store, but have yet to decide whether or not I actually like the song. Mostly I just like yelling out the drink names like Lil Jon.
The Crowd: 90 percent of the crowd had on at least one of the following: Animal print; silly glasses, uncomfortable shoes; neon. Those who didn't probably had to go to work today.
Overheard In the Crowd: "I should have worn my cheetah pants," said the lady savvy enough to own cheetah pants but not savvy enough to know that she should have worn them.
Random Notebook Dump: People dressed up for the show, but not as much as you would think. In fact, those who did dress up were something of a novelty, frequently being stopped so they could have their photos taken. The thing is once the first person that stopped them took their photo, someone else would come up to repeat the process. It reminded me of watching a video go viral.
Unofficial Homemade Shufflebot Count: 4
Rock The Beat 2 Sorry For Party Rocking Get Crazy Take It To The Hole Put That A$$ To Work I'm In Miami BItch Getting Over You Boom Boom Pow Shooting Star Reminds Me Of You I Am Not A Whore Hot Dog One Day La La La Yes Shots Party Rock Anthem Champagne Showers Sexy And I Know It Party Rock Anthem (Remix)
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