Chic and Nile Rodgers perform at the Mojo Tent at Bluesfest 2018 in Tyagarah near Byorn Bay.
Chic and Nile Rodgers perform at the Mojo Tent at Bluesfest 2018 in Tyagarah near Byorn Bay. Marc Stapelberg

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.

Chic and Nile Rodgers perform at the Mojo Tent at Bluesfest 2018 in Tyagarah near Byorn Bay.
Chic and Nile Rodgers perform at the Mojo Tent at Bluesfest 2018 in Tyagarah near Byorn Bay. Marc Stapelberg

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.

SPECIAL MOMENT: American artist Nile Rodgers created a special mood at his Bluesfest 2018 performance.

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'.

Chic and Nile Rodgers perform at the Mojo Tent at Bluesfest 2018 in Tyagarah near Byorn Bay.
Chic and Nile Rodgers perform at the Mojo Tent at Bluesfest 2018 in Tyagarah near Byorn Bay. Marc Stapelberg

After the show, the artist showed his gratitude to the public via social media:

 

Stars collided

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.

 

Morcheeba headlines the Jmabalaya Stage at Bluesfest 2018 in Tyagarah near Byron Bay.
Morcheeba headlines the Jmabalaya Stage at Bluesfest 2018 in Tyagarah near Byron Bay. Marc Stapelberg

Listening to Rome Wasn't Built in a Day live sang by Edwards made queuing for organic doughnuts a real pleasure.

 

Year 9 band Frequency from Kadina High School performed at Bluesfest today.
Year 9 band Frequency from Kadina High School performed at Bluesfest today. Liana Turner

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.