R&B/electronica/hip-hop duo The Foreign Exchange lit up Chicago’s Metro Tuesday night as part of their Tales from the Land of Milk and Honey tour. Their set-up was pretty simple, just two keyboard stations, a bass, and a drum set, that shows the bare bones basis for their hard hitting, infectious music. The duo kept the crowd holding their breath as lights went down and Nicolay, the drummer, and bassist kicked off the show. The crowd kept waiting for the moment when Phonte would grace the stage. Yet, they kept the anticipation going as the touring crew, which included backup singers Carmen Rodgers and Tamisha Waden, walked out one by one. Finally, Phonte comes out and the crowd goes wild like tweens going nuts over Justin Bieber.
Phonte and Nicolay were there for one reason: to make you dance. Phonte made sure the audience knew this by announcing “if you come to look cute if you come to look around you’re at the wrong show if you came to dance and get some new new that heavy funk we’re here. Background singing give me all you got give me all you got!” and launched into their boombastic set. Everyone danced as the duo killed it on stage with “Fast As You Can,” “Daykeeper,” and Work It To The Top.” The first handful of songs were done in mashup style with one song transitioning to another making sure the crowd wouldn’t stop dancing.
While Nicolay kept it cool behind the keyboard, Phonte kept bantering with the crowd even saying all he wanted to see out there was dancing. “This is a show where guys won’t be dumping beer down their shirts or me spraying water on the crowd.” The duo’s set was well diverse with tracks from their previous releases, like Authenticity, Dear Friends, and Leave it All Behind, but they also did a good number of tracks from their latest album, like “Truce” and “Disappear.”
After heating up the stage for two hours, the duo was almost ready to call it quits, but gave fans an encore performance of “What You Talkin Bout?” The crowd clearly didn’t want to stop partying, but Phonte and Nicolay had to say their goodbyes to rest up for the next stop on their tour. If you want an unforgettable night of dancing you won’t soon forget, then check out The Foreign Exchange next time they hit up Chicago.