Bluesfest Day 5: Le Freak was super chic and funky
BLUESFEST Byron Bay 2018 ended with a bang, or, of you want, with a funk.
American artist (in fact, one of the most important artists of the last 100 years) Nile Rodgers had to explain to local audiences that, despite what was published by an Australian newspaper, Chic is not "a covers band'.
The Dance Music Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee, plus multiple Grammy Award-winner, had to tell the Bluesfest audience that all the songs they were about to listen to were his.
It is, to be honest, hard to believe one person can write so many hits for so many different artists in more than one language.
But at 65, Nile Rodgers is the one artist that saw Studio 54 open in New York, wrote Madonna's hit Like a Virgin, and has remained at the top of the music industry until his latest mega hit, Lucky, with Daft Punk and Pharrel.
Last month, Abbey Road Studios appointed Nile Rodgers as its Chief Creative Advisor.
So no, this is no cover band. This is The Hitmaker himself.
Bluesfest audiences were literally overwhelmed by the amount of disco, pop, rock and funky hits the band threw at them.
The show feature songs from his disco era, written for Diana Ross and Sister Sledge, or performed by Chic, such as Upside Down, Everybody Dance, He's the Greatest Dancer and We are Family.
Then it was time to heat up the stage with even bigger hits of the last 40 years: Madonna's Like a Virgin, Daft Punk's Get Lucky, Bowie's Let's Dance and the trademark Chic hit, Le Freak, got Bluesfest punters dancing non-stop.
The 90-minute set was not enough to even get into his other hits, made famous by the likes of INXS, Duran Duran, George Michael, Peter Gabriel, Grace Jones, Depeche Mode, B-52's, Tina Arena, Adam Lambert, Daft Punk, Aviici, Kylie Minogue , Lady Gaga, Laura Mvula, Keith Urban and Christina Aguilera.
It was - from a music, entertainment and quality point of view - the best show of the festival. By far.
The musician asked the audience to light up their phones.
Rodgers spoke about his struggle with an aggressive form of kidney cancer, and how he is today cancer-free, and how the experience re-affirmed his passion for music.
At the end, the band invited a bunch of punters to join them on stage for 'a boogie'.
After the show, the artist showed his gratitude to the public via social media:
Touring Australia with Nile Rodgers is music star Lionel Ritchie, who offered a round show with all the hits from the 1980s as a solo artist and previous hits with The Commodores.
Ritchie was in good form and the band was on point, but the sound was not the best and the show unfortunately lost a bit of its brilliance due to this.
Metres away, 1990s chill queen Skye Edwards, the best dressed artist of the festival, and also one of the most beautiful voices of the event, wowed audiences with new songs by Morcheeba, plus old hits.
Listening to Rome Wasn't Built in a Day live sang by Edwards made queuing for organic doughnuts a real pleasure.
Other highlights of the day were the Local Area High School Showcase, Miss Renee Simone, Con Brio, Dan Sultan, William Crighton (a favourite among music journalists), Jimmy Cliff, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real and Michael Franti, who offered yet another uplifting and spiritually delicious show at Bluesfest 2018.