Chromeo are set to release their first ever live album, Date Night: Chromeo Live!, June 25 via Last Gang Records. The album features live versions of songs spanning the band’s entire career, recorded on their last pre-pandemic tour tour, a 2019 headline run of iconic U.S. venues like Colorado’s Red Rocks and the Hollywood Bowl. “Don’t Sleep [live in Washington, D.C.]” debuts today as the first taste of the album.
“We always toured as a duo, but on our last run, we put together a band of insane musicians,” says David “Dave 1” Macklovitch. “We told them ‘let’s make our stuff sound like late ‘80s, early ‘90s New Power Generation. It gave a new life to our entire catalog. We had a blast—it was over the top, but then again so is pretty much everything we do.”
In the height of the pandemic, out of sheer nostalgia, Chromeo began to sort through recordings from the tour. After picking favorites versions of each song, they realized that they had a live album on their hands. Date Night captures the band in full swing, at the height of their funky superpowers, delivering 90 minutes of pure, uncut funk—blissfully unaware of the sixteen-month shutdown ahead of them.
The past year has been a surprisingly full one for Chromeo, a band usually on the road for more than 150 shows a year. Last spring, they recorded a quarantine-themed EP off the cuff whilst holed up in their Burbank studio and released it in the spring—donating over $80,000 in proceeds to Know Your Rights Camp’s COVID relief fund. When tragedy struck in Patrick “P-Thugg” Gemayel’s native Lebanon—the massive explosion in Beirut that destroyed an entire district—they quickly scrambled to put out a merch capsule and donated over $10,000 to recovery efforts. Now the plan is to donate proceeds from Date Night’s vinyl and merch sales to Touring Professionals Alliance, which provides help to crew members, venue staff and other members of the live music industry affected by the pandemic.
Chromeo also found the time to create a record label, Juliet Records, to put out music from like-minded friends and artists they admire. Releases in the label’s first year include records from future-R&B star and fashion icon Ian Isiah (which Chromeo produced), New York avant-jazz ensemble Onyx Collective and Montreal keyboard virtuoso Anomalie. They’ve also turned their attention to producing for a handful of outside artists for the first time, with releases planed through 2021.
Date Night: Chromeo Live! is a document of a band nearly 20 years into their storied career and a foreshadowing of what’s to come from Dave 1 and P-Thugg, inseparable friends and collaborators and forever guardians of the groove.