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(Kim Raff | The Salt Lake Tribune) LMFAO performs at the Maverick Center in West Valley City, Utah on May 30, 2012.
Review: LMFAO’s spectacle distracts from below-average hip hop
Review » Duo of Redfoo and SkyBlu inspire dress up, but little else in mindless dance party.
First Published May 30 2012 11:12 pm • Last Updated May 31 2012 08:03 am

LMFAO are reasonably entertaining performers. Not musicians. Performers.

It was as if the entire spectacle at the Maverik Center on Wednesday was to distract the multitudes. If you took the visuals out of the show, what you were left with was below-average hip hop with rappers who bellow rather than creatively explore the art form.

At a glance

LMFAO

When » Wednesday, May 30

Where » Maverik Center, West Valley City

Bottom Line » Colorful spectacle doesn’t compensate for sub-par, uninteresting music.

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The show was well-attended, but not sold out. Those who showed up came as colorfully dressed as those who came to see Lady Gaga’s 2011 show at EnergySolutions Arena. Many in the young audience arrived dressed as one of the frontmen, Redfoo, who sports a large afro, neon colored shirts, zebra-patterned pants and large rimmed glasses. So, throughout the arena, pre-teens and teens proudly wore oversized glasses despite presumably not suffering from myopia.

The vibe of the 1980s continued with glowsticks waved with wild abandon, and young children wearing loud yellow shirts bearing the title of one of the duo’s most popular songs, "I’m Sexy and I Know It." But what should you expect of a group that freely uses the word "fellatio" in its banter and where its songs talk about going through "ho’s like Drano"? The tunes prove trite after awhile as each song revolves around "party rocking."

The marketing of sex in thinly disguised lyrics and music continues an age-old trend. Katy Perry exhibited this last summer and Redfoo and SkyBlu continued it Wednesday. Sex has been in popular music since Robert Johnson and Hank Williams, but I worried about the six-year-old in front of me. For the most part, dancers didn’t so much dance as simulate oral sex or trot out women shaking their backsides to the approval of LMFAO’s leering. Songs such as "Hot Dog," "Put That A$$ to Work" and "Take It to the Hole" are about as subtle as the band’s leopard-spotted guitar (which was heard rarely, since most of the music was electronic and apparently pre-recorded).

But with little bread, there were plenty of circuses. The two-tier stage was festooned with inflatable trees and zebras, bright green lasers shot from the stage, the confetti budget rivaled that of a GSA convention, and at one point Redfoo was hoisted toward the rafters with another relic from the 1980s, a keytar, in his hands. It was the embodiment of the opening credits of "Miami Vice."

At the very least, the audience was treated to the rare opportunity to dance (or as LMFAO calls it, "shuffle") freely inside an arena, since hip-hop shows tend to skip Utah on their ways to Denver, Las Vegas or California. But we deserve better than this. You dance to musicians, not performers.

dburger@sltrib.com




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