Listening to a Floozies song for the first time is simultaneously flummoxing and alluring. Snippets of seemingly mismatched robotic noises join together to form an unexpectedly fluid electro-funk experience that will leave you either appalled or dancing. Every member of the stuffed Georgia Theatre crowd last Friday night was left with the latter. And they did not stop until the show did.
The tone was set by a dreamy Chet Porter opening performance. Porter succeeded in delivering the crowd to the headliners in an imaginative state with stoked curiosity. Once The Floozies graced the stage that curiosity served the audience well. Throughout the show, the Matt and Mark Hill, brothers from Lawrence, Kan., traveled down every musical avenue imaginable but relied mostly on electronic funk. Delving into classic rock, hip-hop, jazz, and indie, the brothers consistently surprised the audience with where their songs were heading. The crowd’s tremendous joy was surpassed only by front man Matt’s, as he watched the flooded venue groove together with a smile on his face that lasted the duration of the show. He even burst out into laughter occasionally as he observed the crowd react with delight to an unexpected hook or a beat unlike anything heard before.
Too often at electronic music shows, the performer, who is typically stuck behind a MacBook on a table, does not match the energy of the music itself. The genre that lends itself to the most vibrant songs is usually presented by the least engaged performers. The Floozies overcame this inhibitor by wielding real instruments in conjunction with their DJ booth setup—Matt on the guitar and vocals, Mark on the drums. Though neither Hill spoke directly to the crowd much, the duo was engaged with the audience and garnered more respect for their undeniable musical prowess.
The Floozies fed off of the crowd’s energy and interacted with it. For example, when the band walked off the stage after its hour and a half long set and the audience roared for an encore and, for some unknown reason, spontaneously commenced an Atlanta Braves “tomahawk chop.” When the brothers finally submitted to the crowd’s demand and returned to the stage, they matched the chop with their own funky rendition of it, sending the place into elation.
The visual effects created another sensory element to the show. The colorful light beams were projected from behind the performers, illuminating the crowd. These lasers were supplemented by the aura of the glowsticks wielded by the attendees most observant of the EDM (electronic dance music) faith. Indeed, for these ravers EDM is a religion, and lights are their form of worship. The less devout within the audience, which included many people old enough to be their parents, were not deterred from partaking in the practice as well.
While each song was distinct in its influences and, in some cases, genre, many blended together. In fact, it was sometimes difficult to tell when one song ended another began. Despite this ambiguity, the group’s most well known song “Sunroof Cadillac” stood out from the rest. An attempt at describing its rhythm may be rendered less effectual than me trying to read a Chinese novel. Yet I can undoubtedly say that its hyper-upbeat and unpredictable sound brought the Theatre’s energy to a peak, prompting each attendee to dance.
Perhaps what was so unique about The Floozies’ performance was its departure from the known. With no clear category into which their music fits, no detectable direction each song will go, and no identifiable source for each noise emitted, the listener is left with much to imagine. And at this show, this imagination manifested itself in the form of the weekend’s best dance party in Athens.