Chromeo & The Midnight

Chrome Nights Tour

with Girl Ultra

Sat, October 5, 2024

State Theatre

Doors: 7:00pm - Show: 8:00pm - all ages

$49.50 advance
$55 day of show

Buy tickets in person (without fees) at the State Theatre box office Fridays 10am-5pm, or the night of any State Theatre show starting 1 hour before doors. Please note that ticket prices may fluctuate based on demand.

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Calling all adults: Chromeo is back, and have they got a record for you. It’s brazenly titled Adult Contemporary, and it’s set to redefine the term. There’s a complacency and a softness to “adult contemporary” as we know it, in a pleated khakis and cable-knit sweater kind of way. In the hands of Dave 1 and P-Thugg however, the phrase takes on a whole new meaning. Let’s parse it word by word.

“Adult” is a loaded thing to call someone in this day and age, since adults have basically wrecked our planet. But for Chromeo, to be an adult doesn’t mean being a cog in the square world’s machinery. Rather, it signifies evolution, sophistication, and nuance. Aging like wine or cheese, not like fruit or milk. While we do so, how much of our groove do we actually choose to hold on to? Chromeo says: “all of it.” As you already know (unless you’ve been living in a vibes vacuum since the early 2000s), Chromeo is the paramount funk band of our time. Friends since childhood, Dave and Pee have built an empire of soigné, danceable, and intelligent music over the course of two decades. Few duos can claim this kind of psychic togetherness and evergreen staying power. Really, who else? One must venture into the stratosphere to find precedents. And now that Dave’s double-breasted suits are popping and Pee’s turtlenecks are in effect mode, it’s safe to say that we can rely on Chromeo to stick around for years to come.

Wait, do you want to hear something really adult? Try this on for size: the anguish of late-stage capitalist monogamy is very much a thing. Here, we come to the essence of Adult Contemporary, the most lyrically cohesive Chromeo opus to date: it’s a 14-track meditation on mature relationships. This is perhaps best conveyed in the song “BTS,” which sounds like a classic Chromeo funk jam but, as is often the case with these guys, hides a deeper message. An ode to just going to sleep (“rest can be Better Than Sex”), it’s about that moment in an affair of the heart when you can just say, “Baby, this week was a doozy and I really just need to crash.” How real is that? Or there’s a song like “Personal Effects,” in which Dave reminisces over a partner after seeing her phone charger left at his house. Modern romance, indeed. Throughout the album, songs function like short stories, each a variation on what it’s like to be in love in 2024 – from joyful commitment to crippling codependency, from the platonic to the profane. It’s no picnic…yet lo and behold, it can also be hilarious, and Dave and Pee tackle it all in their signature straight-faced style. Lest we forget the core Chromeo value: there is no such thing as irony.

Onto that other word. “Contemporary.” An interesting choice for a band who has always been equally of-the-moment and openly indebted to its ancestors. But in an era when everything is available all the time, seamlessly melding together the new and the old might just be the most contemporary act an artist can commit. Chromeo offers us a singularity of funk, with music more elegant and considered than ever before. Take for instance the lush horn arrangements on “Words With You” and “Lost And Found” or the banging electro-synths in “(I Don’t Need A) New Girl.” This is Chromeo in full two-man studio muso mode, danceable and delicate, simultaneously wielding deft live instrumentation and a relentless

four-on-the-floor kick drum that scans the entire record. For the first time in a while, it really is a tandem affair. The previous albums were very much about collaborating. Getting other people involved and going big. Adult Contemporary is more ambitious specifically because it revolves solely around two besties at the top of their game, doing absolutely everything on their own. Hence a deeply intimate feel, with Dave and Pee accomplishing two things at once: getting back to basics in terms of method while also expanding the songwriting and atmosphere. The Chromeo blueprint of maximum funk earnestness sits front and center.

So with that in mind, we invite you to join not only our contemporary times but also the ranks of the grown. Contrary to our infantilizing culture – which would prefer you stunted –, adulthood is a blast. And with a soundtrack such as Adult Contemporary, it’s a place of pleasure, discernment, groove, and comradeship. Come now, dip your toe into the infinity pool of maturity. You’ll find yourself, before too long, happy to evolve funkily alongside Chromeo.

The Midnight

Some songs have the strength to turn every human into a hero, with lyrics so bright-eyed and melodies so universal they lift a crowd of sweaty clubbers into a stadium’s worth of energy. 

These are songs about togetherness and trials won by love, and these are the kind of songs The Midnight delivers on its fourth studio album Heroes; the final chapter in a trilogy of human life that started with 2018’s Kids and culminates in an international tour that sees the duo transformed into an electrifying five-piece band.

From its synth-heavy beginnings to arena rock chords and infectious pop hooks, The Midnight’s musical journey is one fueled by insatiable curiosity. The duo lives at the intersection of varying paths, driven by the frictional spark that fires when Southern-born singer-songwriter Tyler Lyle melts his all-American dreamer tales with Danish-bred drummer and producer Tim McEwan’s cinematic soundscapes.

Together, they form something deeper than just house, vibier than pop, and altogether more exciting than the sum of its parts. 

“Tim comes from a different culture, different taste, different sort of musical firmament,” Lyle says, “and what we have in common is that we like good songs.”

Lyle got his start in the folk song traditions of the American south. Raised by a music minister and mobile home salesman, he cut his teeth as an entertainer leading the choir in a small town Methodist church. Dreaming big, he moved to Paris after high school and studied philosophy. When he returned to follow his musical passions in Atlanta, he found his folk sound gaining attention with major labels who sought him to write for stars in LA.

That’s how he first met McEwan, who was raised not in the bright lights of Hollywood but in Denmark. His own father is a drummer, both parents are actors and entertainers, and they supported McEwan’s musical passions, as did his country. A state-funded program helped the budding producer hone his skills. After graduating, he moved to London and had a hit on pirate radio, but it was years later in Copenhagen that he’d find success with the publishing team that brought him to the U.S.

Lyle and McEwan connected from the moment they first met in a Los Angeles studio. What was meant to be a session for others turned into pure creative spontaneity. The new friends stumbled onto a sound all their own, penning “We Move Forward” in a few hours time. The song became a favorite on The Midnight’s debut EP Days of Thunder, released in 2014.

Within that single’s euphoric rhythms and bittersweet synth lead are the seeds of The Midnight’s signature style. It’s powerful and hopeful, matched with Lyle’s romantic and philosophical observations of everyday feeling, a theme that continues on the intimate sonic portraits that Heroes paints.

A dramatic, nostalgic streak runs throughout their catalog, from the retro-futurism of debut LP Endless Summer through to the introspective musings of 2018’s Kids. That sound got bigger and brighter as The Midnight dug into even deeper emotional depths on 2020’s Monsters, finding more confidence in their songwriting. The pair was even tapped to score for a major motion picture, and although the project did not come to fruition, it further proves the band’s decidedly theatrical energy.

Through the years, the band’s sound and presentation continues to evolve, as influenced by the live performance and connection with the audience as by the internal need to grow.

“As a creative process, it’s always a ‘what feels new and fresh to me?’” McEwan says. “That’s the challenge, right? Or at least for me, how my process is. It has to feel fresh yet familiar for it to feel exciting to feel creatively fulfilling.”

McEwan’s sonic tinkering is further pushed by Lyle’s lyrical explorations of self and situation. Faced with the birth of his first child, Lyle became fascinated with the development of ego and psyche, setting forth on the ambitious aim of a conceptual three-part album epic. 

“I got into depth psychology and this idea of etiology, the way a human forms,” Lyle says. “The world doesn’t get better but we do. We grow into ourselves. We grow into our voice … For me, Kids is self-knowledge, Monsters is self love, and then Heroes is empathy.”

Written during the isolation of COVID quarantine, Heroes faces the feeling of being alone by inviting the whole world to dance under one roof. It’s an album that celebrates the connected nature of man, the way we overcome loss by coming together under one sky and howling at the moon; drinking, hugging, laughing and singing songs at the top of our lungs. 

Slivers of Springsteen, pieces of The Police, the audacity of AC/DC and the hair-raising attitude of arena rock are all mixed all up in sexy-but-sensitive sing-alongs custom built to be belted by a room full of music lovers. 

“Big songs and intimate ballads,” McEwan says. “[We tried] striking that medium and hitting those ends of the spectrum; small stories combined with big perspective.”

Launched by the propulsive jolt of guitar-laden lead single “Change Your Heart or Die,” The Midnight’s next era is its biggest and boldest yet. Follow-up single “Heartbeat” builds a wall of sound with Van Halen-inspired synth leads, echoing drums, layered vocal chants and an explosive chorus. Title track “Heroes” is a sultry strut of a song, deep and moody with an uplifting chorus that sees Lyle sing about the strange modern America. 

The album’s massive highs are matched with moving ballads, little vignettes of private lives like the story of a woman who works at a diner on “A Place of Her Own,” or the small town romantics set to a half-time beat on “Heart Worth Breaking.” Spanning 13 tracks, Heroes is a striking patchwork of portraits—and it will all come together when it comes alive.

After nearly a decade of work, the duo will hit new heights on stage, growing from 500-capacity clubs in 2019 to selling out London’s 5,000-person Brixton Academy and similar venues in 2022. To fill all that space, The Midnight expands its lineup with three live musicians; Lelia Broussard on bass, Royce Whittaker on guitar, and Justin Klunk on saxophone and synth.

The trio have storied histories of their own. Before joining The Midnight, Klunk has performed on stage with Saint Motel and Ariana Grande. Broussard and Whittaker work together as synth-pop band Jupiter Winter. The duo first worked with The Midnight on “Monsters,” then joined the band on stage in 2019 and 2021 respectively. 

Independently, their resumes are impressive. Broussard wrote and performed a song for the 2021 blockbuster Cruella and has been featured in adverts for Nike, Google, Pepsi, Samsung and more. You may have even seen her perform on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and The Voice. Whittaker has served as musical director for rap star Megan Thee Stallion and Canadian singer Lights. Both he and Broussard co-wrote and performed a number of tracks off Heroes. 

The band’s vivid sound is well-suited to full rock instrumentation, and the five-piece is more than ready to unleash the exalted tracks of the new album for crowds of fans around the world, performing them with all the participatory spirit for which they were written—because in the end, the real Heroes are and always have been you. 

Girl Ultra

Acclaimed Mexican indie artist Girl Ultra (Mariana de Miguel) has released the new single “rimel” and announced her signing to Big Dada, the Ninja Tune imprint label which relaunched in 2021 as a label run by Black, POC & minority ethnic people for Black, POC & minority ethnic artists. Known for her innovative and raw visuals and sound, Girl Ultra has cemented her presence in the indie-pop / R&B scene. Through her music, she offers a candid exploration of modern femininity, delving into the complex dynamics of self-image and sexuality with a poignant touch of bitterness. Girl Ultra sits comfortably alongside labelmates Yaya Bey, Rahill, H31R, Brian Nasty, GAIKA and LYZZA.

Girl Ultra’s new single “rimel” fuses house rhythms with subtle acid undertones. It draws inspiration from the pulsating beats of Detroit techno and the innovative stylings of artists like Moodymann and The Chemical Brothers. Recorded against the backdrop of Mexico City’s bustling nightlife, “rimel” captures the essence of youthful exuberance and uninhibited romantic exploration. The song is accompanied by an official visualiser directed by Girl Ultra with cinematography by GRLS (Lucca Necoechea Dellekamp & Diego Andlovin), and previews a fuller body of work which will be released this summer.

Girl Ultra’s new music follows her breakthrough 2022 EP ‘EL SUR’, which was spotlighted in The New York Times, Pitchfork and Harper’s Bazaar. Rolling Stone described standout single “Punk” with Little Jesus as an “exciting sonic turn… quiet, intense and endlessly catchy” – the song now has more than 7 million total streams. Following the release of the EP, she taped sessions at NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert and KEXP in Seattle.

Freshly off an incredible opening for Julieta Venegas in front of 80,000 fans at The Zócalo in Mexico City last month, Girl Ultra will continue to embark on a run of live performances throughout 2024 which include a highly anticipated appearance at Coachella this weekend, headlining shows across the UK/EU (London, Brussels) in May, and support for Chromeo and The Midnight on their North American tour this fall.

“rimel” is out now on Big Dada, with more music to come soon.