Friday, September 01, 2006

Gettin' crazy with Love 40

The band took the stage looking like some kind of '70s Wimbledon nightmare and launched into the triumphant climax of Queen's "We Are the Champions" as the 300 pound lead singer, in crisp tennis whites and sweatband, practiced wild backhands with his racquet.

"We're Love 40," he said. "Gnarls Barkley couldn't make it tonight, but if you don't mind, we'd like to cover a few of their songs."

And then they launched headfirst into "Go Go Gadget Gospel" with an enthusiam and energy that didn't let up for the whole show. Cee-lo's voice was by turns raw, sweet, angry, joyful, and a John McEnroe-frightwigged Danger Mouse (looking to be quite happy in the back, surrounded by equipment) spent time noodling on keyboards and signalling instructions to the sound guy.

I don't think I'd ever seen a string section (cello and a handful of violins) dressed for tennis--certainly the sight of them dropping their instruments to do the stiff-arm Mummy dance for "Boogie Monster" was a first. All the musicians were crankin' blissful.

The band bounced through all the tracks on "St. Elsewhere," plus a couple of covers: The Doors' "Who Scared You" and The Greenhornes' "There Is an End."

Right before "Crazy," Cee-lo asked the crowd, "Okay, which song haven't we done yet? There's only one other song on the muthafuckin' album, right?"

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