It was a night of dance, dance and more dance at the Nile Rodgers & CHIC concert as 1,500 fans were transported back to the 70’s at the Kallang Theatre on Dec 3, traveling through the legendary producer’s music career as he played hit songs across 4 decades such as “Le Freak” and “We Are Family”  under disco lights.

It’s a pity that there weren’t more youths at the concert by the man who’s named the no. 1 Singles Producer in the World by Billboard Magazinein 1985However, despite not having youth on their side, the crowd, which mainly consisted of Caucasians, working adults and retired folks, they certainly didn’t lack the energy that youths would’ve brought.

Judging by the way this office-wear-donning crowd sang and grooved, it wouldn’t be a long shot to wager that the music had magically transformed them to their younger selves when they first listened to Rodger’s hits.

The mere presence of this 61-year old hit-maker in a crisp white suit sporting his signature dreadlocks, glasses and incongruous beanie, holding a DSLR camera and snapping photos of his fans, was enough to have the crowd hyped.

The whole band then came up next, also dressed in white, starting the show with “Everybody Dance”. Nobody needed a second invitation to get moving on his or her feet.

One of the crowd favorites must be the Sister Sledge cover of the 1980s hit composed by Rodgers titled “We Are Family”.  Everyone rose from their seats and sang along to the lyrics: “We are family/I got all my sisters with me/ We are family/ Get up everybody and sing.”

Singer Kimberly Davis’ amazing vocal abilities earned her roaring cheers from the audience as she belted her heart out in Diana Ross’s “I’m Coming Out/ Upside Down”.

Despite his long career in the music scene, this is the first time Nile Rodgers & CHIC is meeting local fans on home ground, and so he felt compelled to dispel some myths about the 1976 band founded by bassist Bernard Edwards and himself.

“We are not a cover band,” Rodgers said, before continuing with covers of songs he’d written for famous singers like David Bowie, Duran Duran and Madonna. For example, the man himself produced the 1984 hit “Like A Virgin”, which remains as one of the Queen of Pop’s most beloved songs of all time.

Rodgers had revealed in an earlier interview with Channel NewsAsia that he’s only had 3 hours of sleep every day since the age of 5. With 19 hours a day to lavish on his creative juices, he’s obviously a man who believes not only in inspiration, but perspiration.

The fourth song of the night that has the word ‘dance’ in it, and CHIC covered the 1983 hit for 67-year old British singer David Bowie, whose best-selling album Let’s Dance was produced by Rodgers

Then came the 1978 funk hit, “Ah… Freak out! Le freak, c’est chic!” (“Le Freak”), a number so beloved and familiar that you could still hear people singing along to this hit 3 decades later, regardless of the era that they were born in.

As if all of that didn’t already make the night of many, Rodgers invited audience members to come up to the stage to dance in his encore, and that’s when audiences and the band’s attention shifted to 2 brave volunteers –  a shy Caucasian boy and a talented little Malay boy who wasn’t afraid to show off his slick moves on stage. There were many beautiful ladies in the theatre, but the 2 young boys definitely stole the attention of Rodgers and CHIC!

While many would’ve expected a performance of Rodgers’ latest masterpiece, the result of a collaboration with Daft Punk, the 2013 hit “Get Lucky”, they’d be disappointed because the music producer felt it wasn’t right to do it without the French house duo.

Despite of this letdown, fans soon forgot their disappointment when the charismatic producer walked down the stage to greet and take photos with his fans.

No diva flair, no big ego, and all this from the musical genius who defined the music of our time.

Set List:
Everybody Dance
Dance, Dance, Dance
I Want Your Love
I’m Coming Out / Upside Down  (Diana Ross cover)
Greatest Dancer / We Are Family (Sister Sledge cover)
Soup For One / Lady (Hear Me Tonight)
Like a Virgin (Madonna cover)
Lost in Music (Sister Sledge cover)
Notorious (Duran Duran cover)
Original Sin (INXS cover)
He’s A Spacer (Sheila & B. Devotion cover)
Thinking of You (Sister Sledge cover)
Let’s Dance (David Bowie cover)
Chic Cheer
My Forbidden Lover
Le Freak

Good Times

Photos Courtesy Of LAMC Productions