You know a show is pretty epic when people can’t stop talking about it the next day. This was the case for Hot Chip’s recent two-night stop in Vancouver. Needless to say, anticipation and expectations were pretty high hours before the start of their second show at the Commodore Ballroom on September 16, and the guys from London, England, didn’t disappoint.
On tour to support their latest release, In Our Heads, which dropped in June, the band actually started with an older song, “Shake a Fist”, from 2008’s Made in the Dark. While the song suffered some sound issues, including unbalanced vocals and instrumentals, and got off to a rocky start, the crowd was pumped, singing along to the lyrics and literally shanking their fists in the air. The band (and sound crew) pulled it together by the next number, synth-pop single “Boy from School” from 2006’s The Warning. The song was fired up by an extra-long intro, which only made frontman Alexis Taylor’s controlled vocals on the song’s serpentine melody even more electrifying when it finally did kick in. The ‘80s-sounding electro-dance number “Don’t Deny Your Heart” came next, reminding everyone of Hot Chip’s most recent album, and they continued with their newest works, performing “Night & Day” and “Flutes” as well.
Travelling back into the band’s history, they pulled out near-flawless performances of the fast-paced “Over and Over” and 2010’s “Hand Me Down Your Love”, which by the end of the song, had transformed the room into a full-blown dance party. To take things down a few notches, Taylor led a pared-down band in “Look at Where We Are”, which had an undeniably sexy R&B vibe to it. After strumming out “These Chains” and “Warning” one right after the other, the band led the audience through yet another sing-along with “How Do You Do”. A slightly remixed version of dance-hit “Ready for the Floor” was finished off by an upbeat cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere”, before closing the set with a big instrumental finish at the end of “Hold On”.
Coming back on stage for a four-song encore, Hot Chip continued to wow the crowd with “Motion Sickness”, which was accompanied by a spectacular light show, and “Crap Kraft Dinner” from their 2004 debut Coming On Strong. They followed those two songs with a memorable performance of “I Feel Better”, before sending the audience home with “Let Me Be Him” ringing in their ears. Hot Chip’s Vancouver performances were arguably some of the best live shows the city has seen this year, and ones that those who attended will be talking about for a while.