Bleary eyed and barely awake, I made my way to my desk Friday morning like I do every weekday, with a bowl of granola in one hand and a glass of OJ in the other. I scanned my inbox while crunching down on my cereal and nearly choked at what I saw. I was being offered the opportunity to see Chiddy Bang and fun. at that night’s sold-out performance at the Wiltern, but I only had three minutes before the list would close. Cursing the New York / LA time difference, I banged out an email as quickly as my not-yet-fully-functioning fingers could move, and within ten minutes, I had unbelievable plans for Friday night.

Of course I was excited to see the headliners, fun., as I’ve been in awe of the pop rock trio from the moment I heard them and was wowed by their intimate 987 Penthouse performance in February, but I was equally ecstatic at the opportunity to see opening act Chiddy Bang. I’d lived vicariously through other LA Music Blog writers when they reviewed performances by the alt hip-hop duo at The Troubadour earlier this year and EA Sport’s Need for Speed Launch in 2010, but this time I would finally get my chance to catch a Chiddy Bang show myself.

It’s fitting that I got the good news about the show while enjoying the most important meal of the day as the duo’s debut full-length, Breakfast, has been one of my most played releases of the year. I cheered along with the packed crowd when rapper Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege hit the stage Friday night sporting a hipster-mets-hip-hop style and producer Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin took his place behind a drum kit. This addition of live percussion brought a cool, spontaneous element to what could have been a “just press play” type situation, and the set that followed was energetic and, like the group’s music, capable of appealing to a diverse audience that included as many parents out supervising their kids’ nights of “fun.” as twenty- and thirty-something concert-goers.

The duo barreled through several tracks — “Breakfast,” “Mind Your Manners,” and “Does She Love Me?” — before pausing long enough to take a sip of water and engage the crowd in a little freestyle game whereby audience members would throw out words that Chiddy would then work into an off-the-cuff rap. As this was already a food-centric performance, it’s unsurprising that “lobster” and “apples” made the cut, but I was shocked at how fast Chiddy was able to weave those and the other random words and phrases into clever, not just coherent, rhymes. Definitely one of the most impressive parts of Chiddy Bang’s performance.

After the freestyle session, the set continued full force with highlights including “Handclaps and Guitars,” a cover of Watch the Throne’s “Who Gon Stop Me,” and of course, the Breakfast single “Ray Charles,” which got the LA crowd worked up into a frenzy. The groaning that followed Chiddy Bang’s announcement that they only had time for one more song quickly turned to cheers as the opening strains of “Opposite of Adults” filled the venue, and the crowd — adults, kids, and everything in-between — danced along to the duo’s breakthrough track.

As the opening act, Chiddy Bang may have technically been the first taste of what was to come, but as Chiddy himself has said, “Breakfast is the first, most important meal of the day.” The duo took this philosophy to heart in the naming of their debut: “We named our new album Breakfast because this is our first proper album, and the most important moment so far in our careers. Plus a lot of significant things seem to happen for us while we’re eating breakfast foods.” After my surprise invite Friday morning, I can definitely relate to that last statement.

Chiddy Bang Tour Dates:

08/21 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
08/23 – Jacksonville, OR @ Britt Festival *
08/24 – Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall *
08/26 – Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Concert House *
08/28 – Billings, MT @ Babcock Theatre
08/30 – Regina, SK @ Conexus Convention Hall *
08/31 – Saskatoon, SK @ The Odeon *
09/28 – Brisbane, AUS @ Parklife Festival
09/29 – Sydney, AUS @ Parklife Festival
09/30 – Perth, AUS @ Parklife Festival
10/05 – Melbourne, AUS @ Parklife Festival
10/06 – Adelaide, AUS @ Parklife Festival

* w/ fun.

For more info:

Chiddy Bang website