LMFAO brings party rock to Columbus, Auburn HillsWritten by Alan Sculley | | ASculley@toledofreepress.com
For a while recently, it started to look like the party might be ending for LMFAO almost as soon as it started.
Before the recent announcement of a major summer tour, rumors started to fly that the uncle/nephew duo of RedFoo and SkyBlu were splitting up just as LMFAO — their self-proclaimed party rocking electronic/hip-hop/pop act — had made it big with the No. 1 hit singles, “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy and I Know It.”
But in a late April teleconference interview, RedFoo and SkyBlu said the duo was as surprised as anyone by the breakup rumors. And the duo has even made a video to refute the rumors.
“It’s funny, this is like the first time we encountered that type of stuff, but it’s completely … it’s completely false,” SkyBlu said. “I mean, we’re family at the end of the day and so that is stronger than anything, you know what I mean? Blood is stronger than anything, so I mean, we had to make a video to let people know the party kings are tighter than ever, baby.”
And in a way, RedFoo said, the breakup hubbub was a sign that LMFAO had arrived.
“It comes with the territory of being successful. Being famous, being No. 1,” he said. “Papa Berry always taught us this thing called the cycle of success. When you get famous you become a target for things. I mean there are people that, you know, lawsuits go up. They wanna take advantage of the fame and stuff and there’s a lot of stuff. There are the tabloids [that] wanna say stuff to cause controversy. There’s all these things, and I think the best way to look at it is like it’s all part of the game. It’s all part of the business, and it’s how you kind of react and respond to these things that’s really important.”
“Papa Berry” would be Berry Gordy, the man who founded Motown Records and built it into one of the most successful labels in history, pioneering the Motown sound along the way.
Gordy is the father of RedFoo (Stefan Kendal Gordy) and the grandfather of SkyBlu (Skyler Austen Gordy).
RedFoo said Gordy offered a wealth of advice to himself and SkyBlu as they decided to get into music, explaining the details behind the three stages to being an artist in the music business — create your music, record it and then devise how to sell it.
“Another business thing is organize before you advertise,” RedFoo said. “So before you go out there and promote something, you know, get real organized to understand what you’re promoting. Understand what you have made before you sell it.”
That’s a lesson LMFAO has put into practice. Since forming in 2006 in Los Angeles, the group has developed a sound, as well as a party-centric image and a distinctive look.
The duo broke the ice with its 2009 debut CD, “Party Rock,” which featured a modest hit, “I’m In Miami Trick.” But later, a track by DJ Inphinity that combined the vocals from that song with the DJ Chuckie tune “Let the Bass Kick” — rechristened “Let the Bass Kick in Miami” — got released online, became a buzz track and was then chosen as the theme song for E! television’s show, “Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami.”
Then came last summer’s release of the second LMFAO CD, “Sorry For Party Rocking,” whose lead single, “Party Rock Anthem” (with its disco-electronic sound and a video showcasing the Melbourne Shuffle dance style), hit No. 1. It was followed by another cheeky club-worthy chart topper, “Sexy and I Know It.”
But it’s not just the music that makes LMFAO stand out. With RedFoo’s Afro and SkyBlu’s frizzy locks, colorful outfits and big horn-rimmed glasses — without the lenses, of course — the pair have a distinctive look that immediately says fun. While the look might seem like a shrewd marketing plan by a couple of guys who grew up in one of the first families of music and marketing, the duo said this wasn’t the case.
SkyBlu said the hairstyles date to the 1990s.
The glasses idea happened quite spontaneously, RedFoo said, when he went to a club in Miami, and he wore big glasses just because he thought they looked cool. Apparently RedFoo was making quite an impression, but not as he initially intended.
“[SkyBlu] is like kinda laughing and then he come up to me and it’s like, ‘You know. most of them are saying ‘What are you doing man?’ And I said, ‘I’m freakin’ baby, I’m dancing. I’m getting my groove on.’”
As it turned out, RedFoo wasn’t seeing the situation clearly with the glasses.
“I thought I was freakin’, you know, with like three girls, three or four girls, but it was two big, women, and one of ‘em looked like a dude!” RedFoo said. “Because I couldn’t see in my glasses, I popped out my lenses. I said ‘What?’ And I popped ’em out, and then I had no lenses in the club, and then it was like ‘Yeah.’ So I could see everything in the club, but I still had my accessory on my face. And then a girl came up to me and said, ‘I like your glasses,’ and she was hot. And I said, ‘Oh I ain’t never taking these off.’”
The glasses, colorful costumes — and yes, the songs — will all be part of the LMFAO live show as the duo headlines its biggest tour to date, the “Sorry for Party Rocking” tour. Other acts on the bill include Far East Movement, Quest Crew, Sidney Samson, Eva Simons and Natalia Kills.
Expect some champagne spray during the song “Champagne Showers,” which RedFoo considers a high point of the set. There might also be a few dancing props or other surprises that will help enhance the party vibe onstage and lift the spirits of the audience — as well as the performers.
“It’s like Halloween in the daytime,” RedFoo said of the show.
“It could be an inflatable palm tree,” he said. “It could be a shuffling zebra that will just kinda make you feel like you’re in a dream. I think that’s the main thing with the costumes and the colors. Some things are random. Sometimes you might just get a grownup hot dog, you know, shuffling, a shufflin’ hot dog, a guy in a hot dog suit. Why, you know, because there is no reason why. That is exactly why, ’cause it makes you feel like you’re in a dream, a trance.”
Whatever happens on stage, SkyBlu said the LMFAO show will be all about a good time.
“You could use this as your excuse to let loose,” he said. “When you come to the concert you can just let it all go and just have some fun, get some champagne spray, you know what I mean, and have a good old time, baby.”
LMFAO will play at Nationwide Arena in Columbus at 7 p.m. May 22 and The Palace of Auburn Hills at 7 p.m. on May 23.