Hot Chip kept a very full room “ready for the floor” as they danced the night away at Echostage Friday night.
Touring in support of their sixth album, Why Make Sense?, released in May 2015, the London quintet also paid respects to their career so far, hitting highlights from their previous albums.
In doing so, Hot Chip sang a lot about being in love while adding soulful samba-like grooves to some of their greatest hits.
And so the crowd boogied down in earnest to tracks like “Night & Day,” “Over and Over” and “I Feel Better” throughout the show, as well as many of the noteworthy tunes on the new album.
The U.K. synthpoppers opened with “Huarache Lights,” a dance-funk ode to living on the go until eventually replaced by automation, the first single from their latest effort. They also showcased “Easy to Get” and “Started Right” from Why Make Sense? — the first a playful tribute to playing “easy to get” with someone you love and the second also a lovely song about being in love and in a committed relationship.
All in all those two songs, as well as many of the other new songs, share romantic continuity with “One Life Stand,” the declaration of commitment that serves as the title track of their fourth album. Appropriately, Hot Chip played “One Life Stand” as the second number of their show, setting the tone lyrically and melodically for a spaced-out jam session of occasionally light, occasionally thumpy disco that could have hailed from the late 70s/early 80s.
They later played “Need You Now,” which sounds to me too much like the title of a recent Cut Copy song but is rather instead inspired by “I Need You Now” by 80s R&B trio Sinnamon.
Watch a Hot Chip set from the BBC 6 Radio festival on Feb. 21, 2015:
To my surprise, the band’s set drew quite heavily on fifth album, In Our Heads, where they visited “Flutes” as well as “Look at Where We Are,” “Don’t Deny Your Heart” and “Let Me Be Him” in an extended encore.
The absolute highlight of the show for me was the stripped back, smooth rendition of “Ready for the Floor” from the band’s terrific third album “Made in the Dark.” The opening was completely reworked as a bit of a slower, ambient build-up with the only clue as to what you were about to hear was an introduction by guitarist Al Doyle, suggesting “you’re my number one guy” — a lyric from the song.
But then the performance mellows into an electro-samba number that effortlessly blends the organic with the electronic with guitars very forward.
Watch a performance of “Ready for the Floor” from earlier this year, apparently in France for CultureBox FTV:
Another great highlight of the show came at the very end, when Hot Chip and openers Sinkane teamed up for a very different cover of Bruce Springsteen’s familiar “Dancing in the Dark.” The familiar tune remains familiar but certainly rhythmically reimagined with vocalist Alexis Taylor’s smooth falsetto, Joe Goddard’s pulsating synths and the pleasant addition of maracas from team Sinkane, again giving a song a very laidback electro-samba sound. It was a refreshingly unique take where a wholly different band manages to put its own stamp on an enduring classic without merely aping everything that is great about the original song.
Hot Chip have completed their U.S. tour dates for now, but they return for Lollapalooza in Chicago at the end of July, and they stick around for some performances in California afterward in August. As ever, the gents are dependably fine performers sure to inspire you to dance the night away with their lovelorn electro-funk, and they are well worth seeing the next time they tour near you.