Hot Chip is nearing their 20-year anniversary since conception, originally a project between Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard. Throughout their 7-album spanning career they have grown to reflect a type of legendary status among modern electronic rock bands. If you have never been to a Hot Chip show you can expect a combination of talented musicianship, energetic delivery, and an audience that knows how to move. Whether you’re new to the band or an old-timer like myself, the feeling of nostalgia, excitement, and mystery will always be present when catching these boys at any given performance.
Like most people new to the band, I had originally seen them my first few times at music festivals. Their style of live rock music and heavy electronic sounds make them the almost perfect fit for a festival like Coachella, that thrives on rock bands and EDM DJs. Their high demand at indie festivals and electronic festivals, as well as their star-studded discography has given this group a type of immortality when it comes to tours and performances.
Usually we enter the doors of the Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles amongst strict security and a sea of blacked-out college kids. The venue sits directly on the campus of LA’s biggest university, USC. Most shows that happen here are heavy hitters in the EDM community, so you would imagine our surprise walking into a Hot Chip show to find a bunch of dads in their mid-thirties. Security was a breeze and the venue was filled but not at an uncomfortable capacity.
As the lights dimmed we were amazed to see the new stage design light up. There were about five illuminated barriers that stretched horizontally on stage. Each one lit up with projections adding a sense of depth to the band members and their instruments. Hot Chip did not wait to get right into it with the tracks ‘Huarache Lights’ followed by ‘Night & Day’.
Most bands that perform their old-hits feel a little burnt over the years. Hot Chip on the other-hand can crush these old classics and redesign them with each tour. The band doesn’t necessarily rely on their hits, although their deep cuts are extremely memorable, but in the live setting they take no shame in playing what makes the crowd go mad.
Their latest record A Bathfull of Ecstacy is way more beautiful and angelic then previous releases with just as much variety between the dance bangers and slower ballads. They played a solid handful of new tracks which fit perfectly with the projected visuals designed around the album artwork. My favorite of these has to have been ‘Hungry Child’ – something about the fat analog bassline that comes in before the drop had me completely hypnotized to the groove.
The most memorable moment of the show was hands down their cover of Beastie Boys’ ‘Sabotage’. They brought out Ad-Rock from the Beastie Boys to perform it with them and the energy was bigger than life. To go from a disco-synth wave song to a punk hip-hop throwback like that really fucked the place up.
They eventually came out for an encore and ended off on a high-note with ‘I Feel Better’. The nostalgia behind the chord progression of this track is like something out of a dream. The crowd lit up at the sound of the polyphonic synths that hits at the breakdown. It is something I look forward to but can never really be prepared for each time I see them live. This was my first time seeing Hot Chip at their own show and it was just as thrilling as the first time I saw them 10 years ago.
The band will be continuing their A Bathfull of Ecstacy Tour throughout Europe and South America this year. Checkout the rest of the dates here.