Under The Influence of CHAPPO: Kicking Off The Gimme Data Tour
The CHAPPO experience will leave you with feathers on your shirt and confetti in your hair, wondering what the hell just happened. It’s the kind of beat that weaves its way into your brain holes, takes up residence, and renders you its slave. Their music has lured me to places strange and unusual — from an abandoned warehouse in Ridgewood to a scenic Williamsburg rooftop. I’ve seen crowds get hooked on their sweet, sweet funk. The audience at Bowery Ballroom had no idea what was in store for them.
Before we could brace ourselves, they launched into “I’m Not Ready” — a fitting debut. The stage became a kaleidoscope of color and movement, neon lights glinting from metallic soundboards. Hypnotized, the crowd couldn’t help but kick up their heels to the pinwheel beat. The urge to dance was irresistible and automatic; we were all servants to this powerful poppy undercurrent.
Just as a heavy dance sweat was beginning to break, the music mellowed out to “Celebrate,” a psychedelic slow jam. Frontman Alex Chappo’s soaring falsetto and far out synthesizers sent us adrift into deep space. Ethereal waves of sound rolled over us, like whooaa maann.
CHAPPO guided us, entranced, into their new lead single, “Hang On” — the first tease from their upcoming LP, Future Former Self, set to drop in May. The song unsuspectingly lured us in with feel-good guitar instrumentals. A trippy, omniscient-sounding narrator lulled through the verses before swelling into a chorus that harkened back to the halcyon days.
Sparks flew as the chorus mounted to its climax. Ravenous, Alex searched for something to climb or dangle from—his signature move. As the Bowery Ballroom is sorely lacking in stage rafters, he launched into the crowd, inciting a frenzy of excitement.
Confetti erupted as smoke rolled over the gyrating silhouettes. Through the haze, it was all a blur of feathers, neon, and shaggy hair—Alex Chappo’s falsetto offering us the portal to another dimension. As the vortex of confetti swirled around us, I had to ask myself, “Is this real life?”
As I tried to steady my spinning head, Steely Dan-like guitar riffs arose through the smoke, causing me to question, for a moment, what era we were in. Jam-packed with good vibes, “Mad Magic” was pure classic rock with a funky psychedelic twist.
Just when I thought they might let us come down easy—Hell no! Their final song title was pretty apropos. Kicking us all into premature withdrawal, Alex wails, “I know its just a show / When will we meet again, meet again I don't know.”
As the swirl settled, I discovered that I was drenched in sweat, calves aching, with bits of confetti in my beer. With my return to reality came the craving for more. The crowd was dazed and left wondering if what they just witnessed had really happened.
By Nicole McLaren