This year could be for Hot Chip what 2009 was for Phoenix: one where a band who've grown steadily more popular over the years release their fourth album and officially blow up. That's the feeling I got from the band's show at Music Hall of Williamsburg where the band had the sold-out crowd going bonkers the entire set. And the crowd wasn't just too-cool hipsters, either. (Though they were in full effect.) There are plenty of "normal" folks too, young and not-so-young. Everyone was dancing, sweating, singing along to every song. The positive vibes were definitely felt by Alexis, Joe and the rest of Hot Chip who pretty much beamed the whole show, especially guitarist Al Doyle who also rocked the steel drum on a few songs and seems to relish playing in two of the best dance bands in the world. (He's also a member of LCD Soundystem.) This was my seventh or eighth time seeing Hot Chip and without a doubt it was the best I'd ever seen them -- by a mile.
We got about half of Hot Chip's great, new, gushingly romantic album One Life Stand as well as a smattering of songs from Made in the Dark and The Warning. (Don't think we got anything from Coming on Strong but I could be wrong about that.) Perhaps realizing this was a Saturday night crowd, apart from new number "Slush" in the encore they left the ballads at home. With a touring drummer now added to the mix, band both Doyle and singer Alexis Taylor playing additional percussion, all the songs have a little more oomph. Hot Chip always seeming to be changing the arrangements of their songs: "Boy From School" becoming a full-on dancefloor rager; "Ready for the Floor" has become such a better song I almost wish they'd rerecord it; and new track "We Have Love," spare in it's recorded version, sends the crowd into ecstasy; "Hold On" rocks harder. One Life Stand's "I Feel Better" still sounds like "La Isla Bonita" but still has the crowd (including Les Savvy Fav's Tim Harrington, a row behind me, singing all the words) going mental.
And there is no stopping "Over and Over," sending the crowd over the edge into undulating hysterics, like when the killer in Perfume finally releases his perfect fragrance on an unsuspecting crowd. At the end of the song, I found myself a good 20 feet to the left of where I was standing at the start of the song. I'm not sure how that happened, but I still had all my clothes on at the end, so I'm not too worried about it. It may only be February, but it's gonna be hard to knock this show out of my Best of 2010 show list.
MP3: Hot Chip - One Life Stand
Best New Music recipient One Life Stand is out tomorrow on Astralwerks/DFA. The band will be back in April playing Terminal 5 with The XX and tickets are still available for the 4/23 show.
Openers The French Horn Rebellion are a lot of fun, sort of the white nerd version of Chromeo with a bit of comedy team in there too. Siblings Robert and David Perlick Molinari (here with help from Savoir Adore's Paul and Diedre) maybe try a bit too hard in the yuks department, but when they actually get around to playing songs (like their killer single "Up All Night") you can't really argue with the grooves and hooks. They've got the studio skills, and will have their live show figured out soon, so watch out. Download a free EP's worth of tracks here.
Also in attendance: Cameron and Abbey of 'Sup who I braved the front of the crowd with for most of the night and have much better pictures than I do. A couple more grainy shots after the jump...