Live Review: Hot Chip @ The Tivoli
Purveyors of some of the finest dance parties, Hot Chip, were back in Brisbane this week attempting to slap the Australia Day hangover out of a plethora of hungry fans. Bringing with them New York rising star Empress Of, Hot Chip showed the fine city of Brisbane what it’s like to feel things again through the medium of music and dance.
To appease the steadily growing crowd covering the d-floor of the Tivoli, out wandered New York songstress Empress Of with her modest backing band. Wasting no time, Empress Of led the appreciative audience through her sophisticated brand of vocally led electronica. Utilizing a drum pad and a live drum kit (plus just some damn fine use of the often overlooked cowbell) the beats were flying fast and thick, causing the floor to shake but contrasting nicely with the soaring vocals. An uninhibited performer with the tunes to back her up, Empress Of is definitely one to look out for in 2016.
“Classic tracks One Night Stand and Night And Day elicited jeers of pleasure with lead singer Alexis Taylor’s unfaultable falsetto the guiding light for the thick, layered sounds.”
A stage that was back lit to the heavens heralded six angels on stage that called themselves Hot Chip. Launching straight into Huarache Lights, the lead single off their 2015 album “Why Make Sense?”, the crowd immediately began their appreciative head bobbing that would escalate to a full on dance party over the course of the next few songs. Classic tracks One Night Stand and Night And Day elicited jeers of pleasure with lead singer Alexis Taylor’s unfaultable falsetto the guiding light for the thick, layered sounds. Seven-minute epic Flutes provided a nice change of sound and also an opportunity to show off their synchronised dance moves which they obviously relished.
The crowd was sent into convulsions of dance induced pleasure as soon as those oh-so-recognisable first sounds of mega tune Over And Over. In recorded form the song is an undeniable earworm but live it is transformed to an entrancing overload of a song commanding anyone listening to start shaking their little feet. This is in no small part due to drummer Sarah Jones (also the drummer for New Young Pony Club) who throughout the night took the deeply syncopated beats so engrained in the music of Hot Chip and hit every single mark every time. The low-key star of the night, it was just so fantastic to see Jones slay her drum kit and in a tennis skirt no less.
The tail of the set list made a turn towards tune town as Hot Chip slammed out hits Need You Now, Ready For The Floor and I Feel Better. While Need You Now had emotional depth that most dance music could only ever dream of and Ready For The Floor had a delightfully unexpected afro-Caribbean flavour, I Feel Better was the one that really blew people away. The juxtaposition of Taylor’s falsetto and fellow founding member Joe Goddard’s rounded baritone, the stabbing synth strings and Taylor’s intense stare into the crowd combined to create one hell of an end to the main set.
It takes guts to not just drop banger after banger during an encore but that’s exactly what Hot Chip did when they sidled back on the stage, blessing the crowd with Look At Where We Are. An uncharacteristic silence spread over the audience as Taylor took centre stage. His diminutive frame enlarged to prophet like stature as he crooned out this most beautiful of songs. Still unmistakably Hot Chip yet infused with such deep emotion thanks to Taylor’s warbling voice and some delicate guitar chords it really was a treat to witness.
“They are truly a live act that everyone needs to add to their bucket list.”
Fan favourite Boy From School was next up followed by a delightfully Hot Chip rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing In The Dark before the six piece took a humble group bow and left the stage.
Hot Chip’s unique ability to fill dancefloors with willing participants before taking their breath away with emotion is what has always set them apart from other dance/electronic bands. It’s also what makes their live shows such an intense pleasure to witness. They are truly a live act that everyone needs to add to their bucket list.
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