Liverpool Music Week Opening Party with Chic review
Nile Rodgers and co. made a 38-year return to Liverpool and it was every bit as glorious as we'd hoped.
Last updated: 3rd Nov 2017. Originally published: 1st Nov 2017
Before Liverpool Music Week's opening event on 26th October, Chic hadn't played in the city since 1979. It was an absence which heartily added to the overwhelming excitement and positive response when they were announced as headliners for this year's run of shows. Nile Rodgers was coming back to town, and boy were we ready for it.
Taking place in the Echo Arena, a space which was the only suitable size for an artist and collective as admired and renowned as Chic, the sold out show brought together a complete mix of ages, from mums to grans, youngster ravers to disco super fans, they were all out in force.
Liverpool Music Week, a multi-venue festival, started the run of events as spectacularly with a truly special launch. As everyone took their spaces and seats within the huge arena, and introductory video got everybody restless with anticipation of seeing one of the world's greatest producers play the music which defines his career.
Nile took to the stage alongside the rest of the Chic Organisation with a suitably snazzy metallic suit jacket, which he later revealed was made with 24 carat gold. Well, you wouldn't expect anything less would you? They catapulted into the sing-a-long classic 'Everybody Dance' as most of those were seated stood up to their feet.
They worked their way through all the hits, including 'I Want Your Love' and 'Dance Dance Dance', before Nile announced he'd do a medley of all his number one productions, treating us to renditions of Diana Ross' 'I'm Coming Out' and 'Upside Down', plus Madonna's 'Like A Virgin' and David Bowie's 'Let's Dance'. It was a reminder if you needed it of how prolific and influential Nile Rodgers is in the world of music.
He took a moment during the show to recount his ordeal with cancer, and how he came to write 'Get Lucky' with Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams at a time when his future seemed uncertain. Asking the audience to put up their phone lights, the whole of the Echo turned into a twinkling bowl as the band took on one of the biggest tracks of the past five years. "Seven years later, Liverpool, I am officially cancer free!" shouted Rodgers as the crowd howled in celebration.
The show was brought to a close with 'Good Times' as the group were joined on stage with fans for a mighty finale. The performance was a mighty coup for Liverpool Music Week, who brought one of the biggest musical acts of all time to a city who had waited so long for their return. It was just the tip of the iceberg for one of the North West's most forward-thinking and popular inner city festivals, who followed up the opening with a string of epic live gigs.