Early-Morning Party With Club Rap and Female Audience Participation
LMFAO, featuring Redfoo, left, and Sky Blu, performing early Friday morning at the Highline Ballroom. The duo’s club-rap debut album, “Party Rock,” was released last month.
By JON CARAMANICA
Published: August 7, 2009
Among the magic acts pulled off by LMFAO in its small-hours performance at the Highline Ballroom on Friday morning, the least expected was a resurrection of the mythological Hydra.
From time to time during its set, a young woman would worm her way onto the stage, climbing up from the crowd. After letting her dance for a few seconds, a security guard would tug at her arm and whisk her away. In the meantime another one (or two, or three) would appear in her place, and so on. Like lemmings they were, inexorably drawn to a dubious fate.
LMFAO, the duo of Redfoo and Sky Blu, hails from Hollywood but is best known for its relentlessly croaking-and-banging club hit “I’m in Miami Bitch,” which is colossally goofy but brutally effective. Released last month, LMFAO’s debut album, “Party Rock” (will.i.am/Cherrytree/Interscope), is full of more of the same: puerile, Daft Punk-influenced club rap, painted with bold disco ebullience. Sometimes it’s soulless, and sometimes it’s dim, but it’s never dull.
That’s because the men of LMFAO aren’t garden-variety chuckleheads; they’re well-bred chuckleheads, both descended from the Motown Records founder Berry Gordy: Redfoo, or Stefan Kendal Gordy, is his son, and Sky Blu, or Skyler Gordy, is his grandson. (Redfoo is Sky Blu’s uncle.)
Not that the audience for this spastic, aerobic, unerringly entertaining set, full of young women in barely there skirts and architecturally impressive heels, and well-tanned young men with gel-assisted hair, cared about LMFAO’s lineage. The duo first gained attention last year for a thumping club remix of Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown,” followed later by a remix of Mr. West’s “Paranoid.” (“Yeah, my jeans are tight/And my ho’s is white/And they play my song in the club every night.”)
LMFAO calls its sartorial style “new ’80s,” and here the men were in a riot of bold colors — Redfoo in turquoise T-shirt and yellow and black zebra pants, Sky Blu in a black T-shirt and red and black zebra pants. Both wore glasses without lenses.
They might look absurd, but occasionally LMFAO can be tender, as on “La La La,” during which Redfoo played keytar, robotically distorting his vocals. But mostly its mission can be summed up by songs like “I’m Not a Whore,” the refrain to which is, “but I like to do it.” To the women grabbing at Redfoo’s rear end — which was clad in boxer briefs that read “Don’t Judge Me” — he announced, “I know you’re hungry, but I ain’t a piece of steak.”
During “Yes” the women became particularly aggressive, as did security. “No, no, no,” Redfoo said to the guard pulling women offstage. “It’s a party up here. Manager, you can’t pull off the girls onstage.” After some off-microphone conversation, the women were allowed to stay.
A few moments later, after the opening barks of “Shots,” Redfoo was pouring vodka into the women’s mouths, and they barely seemed to notice when he and his nephew grabbed a couple of them and made their exit.