last night's gig

Gnarls Barkley Play That Song, Plus Several Others

Photo: Diana Sabreen

The erratic weather on 16th Street continued last night; after Wednesday’s Rihanna show brought a steady downpour of bombastic, pop-flavored R&B, Gnarls Barkley tore down the Highline Ballroom like a soulful, comedically attired tornado. Following a polite set from Santogold, Cee-Lo and Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton (plus backing band) took the stage in matching tuxedos, complete with ruffled shirts and bouffant hairstyles, for a fast-hitting show made up of new tracks like “Run” and “Going On” from their recent The Odd Couple, as well as old favorites from 2006’s St. Elsewhere, most notably “that song that made me rich and famous — you know the one.”

In between singing, grinding, and performing doo-wop-style dance moves, Cee-Lo found time to wax poetic, taunting the crowd with rhymes like, “Are you tired yet? You ready to quit? You tired yet? Or you want some more shit?” (The answer was unanimous — yes, we definitely wanted some more shit.) With hands in his pockets and a smirk on his face, he started into “The Boogie Monster,” crooning “the only thing that could bring me back to life, New York, is some really good head.”

At show’s end, after calls for an encore became too deafening to ignore (regardless of what was happening backstage), the band returned, and Cee-Lo — sans pompadour and pared down to his blank tank top — shouted into the microphone, “I ain’t scared of you muthafuckers” before launching into rousing renditions of “Blind Mary” and “Smiley Faces.” —Lauren Salazar

Gnarls Barkley Play That Song, Plus Several Others