By Wyatt Anton
On Feb. 7, the ridiculously dressed and afro-ed one-half of LMFAO took Calgary for a shuffle. Minus co-conspirator SkyBlu, who dropped the Canadian leg of the tour due to back issues, RedFoo, fresh off a Super Bowl performance and obviously suffering vocally from a hangover still managed to keep the energy high and the crowd on its feet.
Without a doubt there was not a single set of neon leotards left in the greater Calgary area as costume-clad teenyboppers and drunken college kids alike invaded the Saddledome for the performance. Even the stalwart chaperones couldn’t help but have a little fun listening to the infectious tunes and watching the crowds wiggle, shuffle and bounce all over the ‘Dome.
The opening acts catalyzed the audience’s energy early in the night. Cherrytree Records up-and-comers Rye Rye and Natalia Kills set the evening’s tone with their pop/hip-hop mix and sultry onstage presence, and the latter would lend vocal assistance to Far East Movement and LMFAO later on. L.A. group Far East Movement, heavy on the bass, flexed their hip-hop prowess. Their set also featured a live drummer as well as their expected contingent of beat machines. These accoutrements helped back them up on their hit song “Like a G6,” as well as on well-done homage to old-school rap “So What?” The trio finished their set by debuting a single off their new album called “Dirty Bass,” which was well-received.
RedFoo’s set was kicked off with the blatantly untruthful “Sorry for Party Rocking,” made even more untruthful given Red’s croaking voice. He apologized for this (too much partying) and his partner’s absence, but this was clearly a non-issue as he turned the venue into one giant dance club.
Young and old were swept up in the absurd and often overly sexualized songs that were complemented by a live drummer and guitarist, the latter of which looked as out of his demographic as a guy could be, but added a visceral feel to the otherwise electronic-based music.
The crowd largely stayed on their feet throughout the entire 90-minute set as one club-banging hit rolled out after another. Nine-year-olds in freshly purchased LMFAO swag sang along to “I’m in Miami Bitch” and “I Am Not a Whore” without missing a word — granted, the lyrical complexity of these songs makes singing along not much of a feat in itself, but this was still somewhat shocking. In the meantime, in the stairways and on the floor fans in their tightest eighties gear bumped and grinded along with the beats.
Props and dance numbers onstage took the performance to another level. The backup dancers were easily as impressive and ridiculous as they appear in LMFAO’s music videos, and despite the self-inflicted sore vocals, RedFoo didn’t miss a beat or shuffle onstage. Glow sticks and flashing lights were tossed out into the crowd pre-show, as well as the plethora of streamers and a life-size inflatable zebra, plenty enough to keep anyone fascinated without pharmaceutical enhancement.
“Party Rock Anthem” and “Champagne Showers” were performed after a brief delay that purposely and predictably had the crowd screaming for more, while hit single “Sexy and I Know It” served as the night’s apex, leaving the crowd Speedo-satisfied. Respect definitely has to be given to RedFoo, who kept the show cranked up to eleven all night despite his infirmities.
The show went off as it should have despite its drawbacks, namely the absence of SkyBlu — which, in the grand scheme of things, was hardly recognized. Everyone seemed to get what they came for and then some, while the massive array of spandex costumes kept heads turning and tongues wagging, quite fitting given the music’s subject matter. LMFAO’s Calgary concert deserves nine pairs of ill-fitting animal-print pants out of ten.