Hot Chip @ the Fonda, 6.13.07
Damn it. Right when I think I "understand" Hot Chip, I have to find myself at their LA show and it blows all those perceptions -- and my mind! -- away.
But no need for complaints here ... if anything, the UK sextet has only gone up several notches in my book.
Since I've this unexplainable penchant for using musical metaphors to describe a group's sound and style, I'll try my hand at it again to illustrate what Hot Chip sounded like. They were the robotic, cold beat technicians of Kraftwerk smoothly intertwined with the utter addictive danciness of those throbbing New Order tracks from their heyday in the mid- to late-80s (with some Happy Mondays craziness on top). Certainly, Hot Chip does not have the ability to mimic New Order's spectacular bass hooks, but they make up for it with their insane rhythmic capabilities, quirky, mystifying, and hypnotic synth and filtered guitar melodies, and their tendency to throw in absolutely random musical ideas that span across many decades, many countries, and many categories. (For example, before the curtain even opened, the group was playing this death metal/electro hybrid to prep the scene ... spectacular!)
My one complaint about the night was that Hot Chip made too large of a leap from their studio stuff to the live. The show was -- in very liberal terms -- a rave. I've never sweat so much and been jolted about so violently before. Not that that's a bad thing. (Of course not!)
So the band proved themselves fully: they pumped every bit of dance out of every single audience member with reworked oldies and punchier newbies. Truly a magical concert ... one in which I never knew what the next twist or turn would be, but once it came, it was so familiar, and only more and more pleasing than I would have anticipated. Did they deliberately make the albums and EPs and singles more low key than their live shows to knock the socks off the crowd? Beats me, man, but regardless ... one hell of a job there.
Check out some pictures from the show here! Don't miss these guys for anything.