O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London, March 8th
“How many party pimps in the house tonight?” asks DJ Redfoo. About half of a sold-out Shepherds Bush Empire, probably not that acquainted with the fine print of party pimping but eager to rise to the occasion anyway, bellow back. “And how many ladeeeez?” Cue a more high-pitched response, including a seven-year-old girl a few seats down from [i]NME[/i] who jumps up and down and waves her hands as the blood drains from her father’s face.
Today being International Women’s Day, there may be some valid reasons for checking out the audience’s gender demographic – although, as LMFAO’s chief party rep calls his impromptu survey “the fellatio ratio”, he probably has few of them in mind.
The 19th-century impresario PT Barnum noted that “nobody ever lost a dollar by underestimating the taste of the American public”. Barnum would have loved LMFAO. This LA electro-rap group journey right to the heart of bad taste, their ‘Sorry For Party Rocking’ and ‘Party Rock Anthem’ (400 million YouTube hits and counting) made from the most lunk-headed bits of dubstep, the Beastie Boys, Borat, and pumping Ibiza trance crescendos. There is some calculation here: beneath his billowing Jewfro and ‘I’m In Miami Bitch!’ T-shirt, DJ Redfoo is one Stefan Kendal Gordy, thirtysomething son of Motown founder Berry Gordy, and consequently, someone who surely knows a thing or two about the music industry. Ridiculous, maybe, but naifs, LMFAO certainly are not.
Absent tonight is LMFAO’s second in command, SkyBlu – hospitalised, says Redfoo, following a show in which a speaker “landed on his penis”. This has little bearing on the live experience itself, which roughly resembles Grand Guignol theatre as stage-managed by a cabal of LOLcats. On ‘Shots’, Redfoo’s team of dancers can-can and glug vodka through a funnel. ‘I Am Not A Whore’ segues neatly into a cover of The 2 Live Crew’s ‘Face Down, Ass Up’. An inflatable zebra makes its way over the heads of the audience. Hate them, but you have to admire the way they work a lowest common denominator.
Come the climactic ‘Sexy And I Know It’, RedFoo tears off his animal-print leggings and jiggles his peanut-like crotch as dancers tar and feather the front five rows with champagne and streamers. The zebra has deflated.
The seven-year-old girl swings enthusiastically from the barrier like it’s a stripper’s pole. Still no-one has mentioned that it’s International Women’s Day.