This was the gig that I had been waiting for all year – Chic featuring Nile Rodgers. I saw them last year in Ibiza at the 123 Festival so I knew what to expect – they really put on a great show, playing hit after hit and getting everybody dancing.
Before they came onstage for an extended set (according to Ibiza Rocks standards) we were treated to a series of disco sets from Ste-V-Something, Colin Peters, Doorly and Skream. We heard tunes from The Gibson Brothers, Three Degrees, Cerrone and Dan Hartman amongst others – I was in disco heaven.
The crowd was noticeably different from recent weeks. Slightly older, more locals and most had dressed up for the occasion. I spotted some natty Hawaiian and patterned shirts on the guys and lots of sequins and sparkly numbers from the girls. Such is the wide-ranging appeal of Chic that two of my friends took their mums along with them!
Just after 10.00 pm we got the announcement that we were waiting for and the band took to the stage, followed by singers Folami and Kimberly and they launched into ‘Everybody Dance’. The Chic ‘family’ as Nile refers to them is a big one. There’s 9 of them on the stage: two keyboard players, drummer, bassist, brass section of trumpet and sax, the two female singers and Nile, who takes centre stage. All the men are dressed head to toe in white, whilst the ladies dazzle either side of Nile in complementary silver Lycra.
Nile and Chic obviously have the hits to play, but they play them so well. The band has been playing a constant stream of gigs and festivals around the world over recent months, and it shows. They’re tight, professional and they clearly enjoy performing and doing what they’re doing, which comes across and is infectious.
Next up was ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ but no-one needed encouragement – the audience was already a mass of grooving bodies, smiling faces and arms waving in the air. Another request from Nile with ‘I Want Your Love’, but he already had it.
Before launching into a medley of Diana Ross tunes, ‘I’m Coming Out’ and ‘Upside Down’ Nile also requested that as well as dancing he’d like us to sing along to the chorus, but we didn’t really need to be asked. Hit after hit followed, which Nile had either written or produced, including some for Sister Sledge, ‘He’s the Greatest Dancer’, ‘We Are Family’ and ‘Lost in Music’, Duran Duran’s ‘Notorious’, Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’, INXS’s ‘Original Sin’ and David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ (sung incidentally by the drummer).
Nile clearly enjoyed being centre stage, leading his band through their vast repertoire of hit songs and revelling in playing frequent guitar solos, whilst Falomi and Kimberly took lead vocals between them for most of the songs and danced their synchronised disco moves, bringing a touch of style and glamour to the Ibiza Rocks stage.
No Chic concert would be complete without ‘Le Freak’, which was accompanied by instructions on the LED screen in the background to “Awwww Freak Out”. No problem!
They ended the set with ‘Good Times’, joined onstage by members of the audience, and brilliantly integrated bits of ‘Rappers Delight’, which famously sampled the bass line of Good Times, and before we knew it we were all responding to the calls from the stage to say “ho” and scream.
The stage clears, ‘Get Lucky’ is played over the PA and the musicians all come to the front of the stage and dance along. For a few seconds they all gloriously dance in synch just like the Motown bands did in the 70s (look at the video clip). Pure magic. The crowd love it and sing along and dance a bit more.
It was a great finale, and visually and aurally the whole show was fantastic. For one night only Ibiza Rocks was one big open-air disco under the stars, and everybody danced. How could you not dance to Chic and have a good time!
Words by ClaireB
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Chic ft Nile Rodgers