Hot Chip Delve into Their Extensive Catalog for Electric Show

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When a bill only has two acts, it puts a lot of pressure on the headliner. Luckily for experimental, electro-pop band Hot Chip, their name alone called for an amped and eager audience. Openers the xx continued to warm up the crowd with their mellow synth sound. But Hot Chip couldn't quite reach the bar their albums have set for them. Though the show was high-energy and entertaining, the overly intricate variations of well-known tracks, occasionally lazy vocals and a short set made it simply sub-par.

The show started out promising. The xx's heavy melodic beats and clean vocals were odd and ethereal, sounding at times like a low-key Bjork. One track involved the drummer bashing a single standing cymbal, which created eerie splashes of sound. As the set ended, fans hollered for a never-delivered encore. Good thing for Hot Chip.

Ready to satiate the audience, the British indie dance group settled before a backdrop of their new album cover: a Classical statue head akin to Michelangelo's David. It didn't seem particularly relevant, but then again, it's Hot Chip and they tend to teeter on the verge of complete irrelevancy, frivolity or randomness. Among the six guys on stage, there was a menagerie of keyboards/synthesizers, a drum set and guitars. The visual highlight was vocalist Alexis Taylor. Most recognizable due to his tiny stature, Taylor sported goldenrod-colored pants and emerged from behind a keyboard to get down on some maracas, which made a second, welcome appearance later in the show.

After they started out with "Hand Me Down Your Love" from the new album One Life Stand, the show continued to be heavy on new tracks, some of which were satisfactory at best. Fans were continually disappointed as the show went on without anything from Coming on Strong, the band's first album and songs from the middle two albums were played sparingly. With so many new tracks, the show was different than expected since One Life Stand has a bigger sound and pulls more from the '80s. The new songs were more cluttered but less quirky.

That's not to say there weren't any hits. The crowd roared as Hot Chip launched into The Warning's "Over and Over" but the packed venue sang so loud it actually drowned out the band and made it fell like a giant campfire. This really detracted from the show. The Fox has received mixed reviews for its sound and Friday was a bad day; it simply wasn't loud enough to compete with the audience dedication.

Old favorites were re-worked, presumably to offer a unique experience for the concert-goer versus the at home listener. However, some reworkings failed to live up to the studio tracks. The stand out single was a "Hold On" remix with an awesome, instrumental, techno-drum breakdown. As "Hold On" ended with a bang, the boys left the stage and audience members turned to one another with a quizzical consensus of-It's time for the encore, already? Everyone screamed for what felt like 20 minutes, awaiting Hot Chip's return.

The band's big finale was Made in the Dark's "Ready For the Floor." The final track should have been an engrossing, epic conclusion but the version they played, while showcasing their musicianship, felt watered down, not enhanced. And tired Taylor couldn't maintain the vocals. While there's no denying that Hot Chip put on a good show full of enthusiasm with a thrill of experimentation, high expectations of mind blowing sound and nostalgic tracks made it fall a little short.


Have a campfire with Kalesa at [email protected]



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