With a smile on his face and a guitar in his hands, Nile Rodgers strode onto stage at the newly renamed Capital One Arena on a double bill with Earth, Wind & Fire on Wednesday to give us the gift of dance.
If you ever have heard Philip Bailey sing, you know what an amazing voice the gent has. But I would say you really have to see him live to get the full effect of how he turns on a dime to raise a falsetto and drop it into a baritone, such as when he sings “Betcha by Golly, Wow,” made famous by Philadelphia soul group The Stylistics. Thankfully, you have an opportunity to do just that as Philip’s powerhouse disco and funk group Earth, Wind & Fire are here in DC Wednesday, Aug. 9, for a show at Verizon Center.
And even better, they are teaming up with their contemporary Nile Rodgers, who is bringing the CHIC collective along with him.
In April, Diana Ross saw her seminal album Diana released in its original mix by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards on vinyl for the first time ever. Diana – The Original CHIC Mix appeared on two 45rpm discs via Motown/UMe/UMGI.
The classic album features irresistible disco tracks like “Upside Down” and “I’m Coming Out.” And it just so happens that Diana is on tour, so you can hear her sing them live when she comes to Wolf Trap on Tuesday, July 25.
In the past year, I’ve reminisced much on the passing of David Bowie, whose unexpected death in January marked a year of remembrances of the great musician and his legacy.
And many of these remembrances involved a good deal of dancing and absorbing live performances from wonderful artists that took the time to remember Bowie as well. Here then are 10 top Bowie covers that I saw in my time reviewing shows for Parklife DC in 2016.
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.
Nile, for his part, knows what makes Duran Duran tick, and he mixed “The Reflex,” which became Duran Duran’s first #1 hit in the United States. And of course, Nile took to the stage with Duran Duran for several songs Friday night in a big, bright show at the Verizon Center to play two incredible songs he produced for the band — “Notorious” from the 1986 album of the same name and “Pressure Off” from last year’s Paper Gods (but sadly not “The Reflex,” despite an intense audience rally from the very full house on behalf of the ever-popular song).
On Nov. 4, 2013, I traveled to New York City to meet and mingle with Duran Duran at an exclusive party, where I was able to chat with my long-time musical heroes prior to a screening at the Museum of Modern Art of their concert film, Duran Duran Unstaged, directed by David Lynch.
After the film, my perpetual concert date and best friend Yasmin and I were able to spend some more time at a question and answer panel with the four main members of the band — vocalist Simon LeBon, synthmaster Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor, and drummer Roger Taylor. It wasn’t the only time Yasmin and I engaged the band, but it was perhaps the most memorable.