Hot Chip are one of my favorite simple joys: I never expect one of their albums to change my life, but I always know it'll have a set of expertly crafted, inhumanly catchy songs that I can throw on almost anytime, anywhere, and know I'll enjoy them. Same goes for seeing them live. It doesn't matter what setting or what time of day, a Hot Chip show is exhilarating; unless you have a thing against dance-oriented indie music, it's impossible not to leave their gigs a little happier. Last night at Gov Ball, they played as the sun set behind us, running through a set that hardly let up for its hour-and-fifteen-minute duration. Pausing for a breather only once in the middle of the set with "Look At Where We Are," Hot Chip otherwise ran a relentless party: always-welcome usual suspects ("Over And Over," "One Life Stand," and "Flutes") mixed in with some of their stronger new songs ("Huarache Lights," "Need You Now"). By the end, they had picked up an impossible momentum. "Ready For The Floor" was all the more dramatic for its extended intro and outro, the latter of which bled right into "I Feel Better," which in turn died down and yielded to "Let Me Be Him." That song started up just as it was getting dark and the lights from the stage brightened, a counterpoint to a song that sounds like a sunrise.
But we have to talk about the final song on Hot Chip's setlist. I figured "Let Me Be Him" would be the closer, as Lana Del Rey's and the Black Keys' headlining sets were fast approaching. They went into something else though, something I knew wasn't a Hot Chip song but couldn't place immediately because of the way they'd turned it into their own. And then Alexis Taylor sang "I get up in the evening..." and I realized, "Oh, holy shit, Hot Chip is playing a Bruce Springsteen song." "Dancing In The Dark" is probably my favorite song of all time, and they turned it into an epic dance song with all sorts of their own flourishes, including, incredibly, a tag of "All My Friends," which is one of other favorite songs of all time. This is not something I'd seen Hot Chip do or something I was aware they do. But it was more or less the climactic moment of my last night at Governors Ball, and it was a hell of a thing to hear at the end of the weekend. --Ryan
While we’re almost done with thinking about the year that was, we can’t let it go by without recapping the year in our favorite concerts. Most of the shows we saw were in the LES (’cause it’s closer than say LA), but if we were there, it was eligible for inclusion on this here list… More »
With all of the lists coming at ya this time of year, it’s tempting to fuck selective attenuation and just ignore ‘em all — but today Pitchfork published their top tracks list and, naturally, we were down to take a look. The Knife, Hot Chip, and Clipse were the only artists to place two tune… More »
One thing to know about Oslo: Most people are honest (except cabbies), friendly (except customs agents), extremely beautiful (no exceptions), and obsessed with the export of their arts. So Øya is ostensibly an international festival, drawing on credible, on-the-rise indie acts (Cold War Kids, The Knife, Midlake) and legendary industry stalwarts (Morrissey, Yoko Ono, Beck)… More »
We?re still recovering from our sojourn to the self-described “musical center of the universe” this weekend, and a little worse for the wear. But the last days of Lolla gave us the festival’s most unforgettable moments, amazing weather and serendipitous encounters. Best set of the weekend… More »
Watching four perfectly average, somewhat awkward white boys sidle up to a buffet of vintage synthesizers, I questioned coming to a place like Bowery for a band like Hot Chip. Though a devotee of the Brits’ laptop squirgle pop, I feared a set of lifeless sample pad triggering and repertoire regurgitation. Despite the best effort… More »