By Ryan McNutt
Published Jul 16, 2016
Photo: Lindsay Duncan
"You want to have a funky good time?" asked the ever-smiling, dreadlocked man with the guitar. "Me too!"
Coming from anyone else, that would be a rather pat "welcome to our show" sentiment. But this was Nile Rodgers saying it, a man whose fingers are literally all over the past 40 years of popular music. Between his band, Chic — frequently cited among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's most egregious oversights — and his incredible production and songwriting resumé, few individuals on the planet have racked up more credentials to teach the sort of pop history masterclass Rodgers gave the Halifax Jazz Festival on Friday night (July 15).
6/23/2016 by Gordon Murray
'LIGHTS' UP: On Dance Club Songs, Alex Newell, Jess Glynne and DJ Cassidy, with disco pioneer Nile Rodgers, rise 2-1 with "Kill the Lights." It's the first leader each for all three lead acts and the third solo topper for Rodgers, all since 2015; as a member of Chic, Rodgers earned three No. 1s (in 1977, 1978 and 1992). From the soundtrack to HBO's Vinyl, "Kill" was remixed by, among others, Audien, Dimitri From Paris and Yolanda Be Cool.
RIP our dearly beloved Prince. Tears and love on our tour bus. I'll never forget my brother. We've had good times...
Observers of Duran Duran, as well as the band itself, have often cited its primary inspirations as English glam band Roxy Music and New York disco funksters Chic. Listening to the sounds of boyhood friends Nick Rhodes and John Taylor, you can even discern how the primal elements of the two bands fused into the new wave gem of a band they started in 1978: Nick, stylish to synthy; John, fun to funky.
As John noted in his 2012 autobiography, In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, and Duran Duran, his prized possession is the bass left to him by the late Chic bassist Bernard Edwards, who helped him form Power Station while on a break from Duran Duran circa 1985. It is of course then absolutely meta that Nile Rodgers, the artistic mastermind behind Chic, opened for the band on its latest tour, The Paper Gods Tour, undertaken in celebration of the 14th album by the UK trendsetters.
It’s always interesting to see what songs at a concert get everyone to stand up in a seated venue. It’s even more interesting when it’s at an arena due to the sheer number of people. At Friday’s Duran Duran/Chic with Nile Rodgers show at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., very few seats were used given the incredible number of danceable songs in each band’s setlist.
Nicky Romero is one of the most recognizable names in the electronic dance music industry. Having opened up about his battle with anxiety in recent year's, his motivation to boldly experiment and continue pushing the boundaries of the genre as a whole have already reaped impressive results.
The track itself came to fruition by chance rather than choice. While Rodgers was busy exercising his recently repaired guitar, his experimental riff caught Nicky's ear who then proceeded to record it on his laptop for future use.
Recruiting the masterful talent of Nile Rodgers is arguably his most intriguing and alternative collaboration to date. It also takes the Frenchman headed into uncharted territory in terms of sound and portfolio. Inspired by the funk legend's distinctive touch, Nicky Romero has raised a few eyebrows with his most recent material "Future Funk".
Annually, the Holy Grail of music awards shows - The Grammys - has always honored the stately moment of tribute to musical icons and figures that passed away that year. 2016 has already seen a number of serious losses for the music world, with the passing of The Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey and the legendary David Bowie.
Bowie was an iconic individual not only for his music, but also his one-of-a-kind character and defiance of everything status quo. In today's modern pop world, few (if any) could match Bowie's unique boldness, but if anyone could, it would be Lady Gaga.