Monday nights aren’t typically known for hyped-up crowds at GA, standing room, venues. Last night at the Foundry (at the Fillmore) in Philadelphia, Tuxedo put Mondays on notice: you can’t Fux With The Tux!
The evening kicked off with a 90 minute DJ set from Joshua Lang, who got all of the fans in attendance properly warmed up with some funk-infused, disco house. The crowd at this one was eclectic, to say the least. We saw everyone from a little kid on (who was most likely) her dad’s shoulders, to folks who were clearly grandparent age. Folks in shorts, and folks in full suits; we even saw one guy wearing a yellow bathrobe. There was a Moby look-a-like, a Jerry Garcia look-a-like, and a guy who yelled so loudly that you could hear his voice over everyone else. One thing linked all of these people together: the funk. The venue continued to fill up during the opening set with everyone dancing or at least bobbing their heads to the beat. The Tuxedo merch table was popping all night too, selling tons of limited edition t-shirts, vinyl, and even mini versions of Tuxedo’s sixth band member: The Ho Button (if you don’t ho, now you ho).
Shortly after 9:45, Tuxedo took the stage to a roar of cheers from the almost capacity crowd. The front and middle of The Foundry were packed but there was a little room to dance around the fringes; every bit of dancing space would be used before the night was over. Tuxedo opened with their latest single, ‘The Tuxedo Way’, letting us know that the funk is here to stay, and they’ll toast to that. After a few more opening tunes (‘Number One’ and ‘Shy’) frontman Mayer Hawthorne addressed the crowd. He was genuinely surprised at the number of people who had come out on a Monday night, especially those who were seeing Tuxedo for the first time, and said he dug the energy. You could tell he was being completely genuine and that they really appreciated the turnout and that hopefully next time they come to town they’ll be playing at the Eagles’ football stadium (the Linc).
If you’re never heard of Tuxedo before, it’s the funky side-project of Mayer Hawthorne and producer/keytar extraordinaire Jake One, in the same vein as Chromeo. If you haven’t heard of Chromeo either, stop what you’re doing (once you finish this article) and funktify yourself for the next several hours, catching up on Tuxedo and Chromeo’s full catalogs. You’re welcome. Tuxedo’s sound is disco, it’s boogie, it’s funky, soulful, sultry, and downright sexy. It’s that “shake those hips and then make a baby” music. Tuxedo’s (mostly) choreographed dance moves are quite basic yet so smooth. It’s probably the tuxes they wear. You have to dress for success and these fellas (and their amazing back-up singer) are always dressed to the nines.
Their thirteen song main-set was filled with highs and lows, up-tempo and down-tempo. We loved the interaction between Mayer Hawthorne and the crowd. They were clearly feeding off of each other from start to finish. Once their set was over, they returned for a three-song encore of ‘Rotational’, ‘Fux With The Tux’, and of course, their biggest hit to date, ‘Do It’.
Like many of the fans in attendance, this was my first Tuxedo show, er, first of many Tuxedo shows, and it was everything I’d hoped it would be. The songs on their albums came to life even more than expected with the outfits, the dance movies, and the campy stage set that looked like something out of a Summer camp musical but fit the aesthetic perfectly. Well played, Gents, well played.
[Photos by Jen Strogatz]
[Article by David Miller]
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