Chloe x Halle: The Bowery Ballroom (8/1/2018) – Recap/ Review

Chloe x Halle at Bowery Ballroom.
via: Neutral Church Boy
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You know how people go see Beyoncé shows and say they feel cleansed? For a much cheaper price, Chloe x Halle did that for those at their Bowery show in NYC.

Venue Bowery Ballroom
Venue Address New York, NY
Director(s) N/A
Writer(s) N/A
Date 8/1/2018
Genre(s) Eclectic R&B
Good If You Like Heavy Bass

Feel Good Music

Operatic Voices

Music That Goes From Empowering, To Getting You Hype, To Swaying

Total Time About 2 Hours
Noted Performers
Headliner Chloe X Halle

The Venue

Get there early! Unlike the Lizzo show in 2016, I arrived on time and regretted it so much. Being that this is a small venue, there aren’t screens near the stage so that, if you are short or far back, you won’t end up relying on someone’s phone to see the stage. Also, unlike before, there was a VIP area, but it was also an unmanned VIP area. So, if you don’t mind living dangerously and it seems there isn’t going to be anyone securing the area, you can take a chance. I’m not saying you should but after one person did it, pretty much that rope got moved since, clearly, security wasn’t coming back.

The Opening Act(s)

Technically there wasn’t one. It was just your run of the mill DJ. One which, from 8:05 to 9:05 played what could very well be a Spotify playlist. There wasn’t any real mixing or anything like that but, that’s what DJs do nowadays. They look like they are doing something but you don’t really hear songs altered or remixed. Also, her music had its moments, like with playing Drake’s “Nice for What” and “Don’t Touch My Hair” by Solange, but a lot of it didn’t even vibe much with the energy Chloe and Halle gave us.

Oh, and there was also the odd choice of playing “Happy Without Me” despite that being the song Chloe and Halle make sure to play no matter the venue or opportunity.

The Headliner

First and foremost, like Lizzo and Tank and the Bangas, once you hear Chloe and Halle live, it sort of ruins hearing the studio version of their songs. For while they just add a few ad-libs and runs, there is more oomph since it isn’t so produced. Also, Chloe, she gets really into the music. I’m talking hype man level but keeping good control of her voice. To the point, being that she plays piano and uses some kind of electronic device, it seemed those two things impeded her, if not reigned her in, from shaking her ass, tossing her hair, and going off like the audience.

As for Halle? While only a guitar could have stopped her from going in like Chloe, she was a bit more reserved. Not to the point of being boring, she interacted with the crowd and was present too. Also, with her operatic tone, her singing got the reaction Chloe’s dancing got. So it balanced out. However, you can clearly see how Chloe has fun on stage is different from how Halle has fun on stage and while she’ll join in, like when they have choreographed songs, they are two totally different kinds of performers.

But, together, they give you a little bit of everything. Just like with their music. Whether it is what will be many a young millennial’s wedding song in “Cool People” to “Everywhere” you get an eclectic mix of music with what could be considered an R&B foundation. And even when it came to their lesser-known songs like “Poppy Flower,” the crowd was hyped and while phones were out, people were still very present.

Set List

  1. Fake
  2. Galaxy
  3. Hi-Lo
  4. Poppy Flower
  5. Drop
  6. Everywhere
  7. Up All Night
  8. Babybird
  9. Down
  10. Cool People
  11. If God Spoke
  12. Too Much Sauce
  13. The Kids Are Alright
  14. Grown
  15. Warrior
  16. Happy Without Me


You Can Tell They Enjoy Performing

The more live shows you see the more you take note of patterns. For example, damn near no shows starts at the time advertised, unless it is a comedy show, play, or Broadway. When it comes to music? Even with soundcheck and all that, expect 5 to 30 minutes. Also, you can really see, after a while, whose heart is into the music no matter if they are playing a small venue or something a bit larger.

When it comes to Chloe x Halle, you see two girls living their dream and that energy they get from the crowd being expressed differently. As noted, Chloe treats the set like she is a rap star and will drop it like it’s hot, do the stripper kick Beyoncé does, and basically dance like she was in the audience. Halle is a bit more reserved but, based off YouTube videos, I’d say she has a sort of Whitney Houston style. There may not be a lot of dancing just because, but she can work a stage and through her voice you get this is more than a gig for some change. This is her bringing her dreams to reality and sharing it with the people she long imagined.

Making it where, if you can enjoy singing without theatrics and one choreographed number after another, you’ll dig these girls.


Someone Messed Up Halle’s Microphone

I don’t know what Halle wanted to say to the audience, in one of the rare times she talked without introducing a song, but the tech folks made us miss out.

A DJ For An Hour

Chloe x Halle are still fairly early in their careers and it seems these shows are being squeezed in while they are on Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s On The Run II tour. So, them getting an opening act is something which may have required more time and effort than they had. After all, while they have their own shows, the ones which really matter are introducing Beyoncé’s fans to them. For that is as big of an audience as two girls, originally, from Atlanta can get. I mean, outside of Janet Jackson, there aren’t a huge number of Black female performers who are on Beyoncé’s level who, much less, would give this kind of opportunity to the talent who will keep their legacy alive.

With all that said, a DJ? Much less a new age DJ that doesn’t seem to do much but occasionally play with level and make sure there isn’t any silence between tracks? FOR AN HOUR? Dude, you minas well just turn up the music the venue was playing. It would have been the exact same thing.

Overall: Mixed (One & Done)

It’s a real struggle to come up with a proper name for Live Performance overalls. However, I will say that, outside of seeing them live-live, as in not through the lens of a phone, that might be the only reason I’d see them again. Unless their next album is so bomb I just got to see what they do next. For while they present an enjoyable performance, and at $25 they may be as cheap as they ever will be, it doesn’t give you that experience vibe. Depending on your mindset, you may get in your emotions and if you are with friends, you surely will have a good time. However, it is hard to say you’d want to see them again without new material being done.

Hence the mixed label. At the stage they are in their careers, you’ll be fine with seeing them once and that being it or waiting until their next album. For while very talented, part of that talent sort of reigns them in. Playing instruments adds to the authenticity but for Chloe, it seems that the keyboard and beat machine is like a fence and for Halle? Honestly? Well, her guitar might be like a safety blanket. Something to hold onto when that high is either coming down or hasn’t hit yet for her to lose herself to the music and audience.

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How Would You Rate This?

Negative Mixed Positive

You Can Tell They Enjoy Performing
95 %
Someone Messed Up Halle’s Microphone
70 %
A DJ For An Hour
60 %
I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and from movies, TV, the occasional book, play, and Broadway show, have been trying to bridge the gap between a critic and an avid lover of various forms of media.

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