Written By Gerrit Feenstra
It's nuts that this show even exists in 2016. Nile Rodgers followed up his Grammy hat trick for "Get Lucky" (which he wrote and played guitar for with Daft Punk) with an announcement of a new album (aptly named It's About Time) and tour from CHIC. The crazy thing is, while this may be the band's first album in 22 years, there's no way it can suck, because Nile has been at it as a songwriter and producer within and without CHIC the whole time. Now here he is, CHIC-collective accounted for and a twenty song setlist literally top to bottom full of #1 hits from four different decades, playing the Showbox. Seattle is one of the very, very few American cities blessed with the opportunity to see CHIC on this tour as a headliner in this setting - most cities are seeing them open for Duran Duran (off their return album Paper Gods) in basketball arenas. As I said, the fact that I'm even writing about this right now... I don't even know. Gonna freak out (la Freak, c'est Chic).
Nile and the gang ripped up the Showbox stage for two straight hours, playing #1 after #1 until there was enough sweat on the dance floor to merit some serious piso mojado signage. As Nile put it, "I wrote hits for Duran Duran, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Daft Punk... and that's just the D section". Following those were Madonna, Sister Sledge, and plenty from CHIC proper. Hearing all of these live and dancing to them in a live setting was second to none - there is truly something magic about the energy that gets bottled in a setting like this that can't be replicated on a 12" record. Furthermore, it's an incredible opportunity to get to hear them all done by the hand that wrote them.
While it may not have had 30+ years under its belt like many of the night's hits, CHIC's new lead single "I'll Be There" went off with a bang. Citing the inspiration for the track, Nile said "I don't want to miss anything anymore - I'm going to be there". A little over five years ago, he had a scare with cancer while writing "Get Lucky" with Daft Punk. After being told to put affairs in order, Nile did just that, but in more of an existential context than the doctor may have ordered. He decided to write more songs, play more shows, and live into every single day like there was no promise of tomorrow. And now, five years down the road, he's cancer-free and playing show after show with the best smile in the music business. CHIC is a testament to the joy that music can give you, and having Nile Rodgers be there to bring it to you is second to none. We're up all night to get lucky, and getting to see Nile, we got just what we came for.