It is arguably the tour of the year. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Hot Chip[/lastfm] released their fourth studio album, One Life Stand, in February to positive reviews from almost all circles. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]LCD Soundsystem[/lastfm] continued their golden streak of releases with this year’s This is Happening, released in May. The two have been to Chicago already, LCD at The Metro and Pitchfork Music Festival, whereas [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Hot Chip[/lastfm] played the mainstage of Lollapalooza. It is no exaggeration to say that these are two of the biggest names in not just indie rock, but in music. Their respective releases both broke the Billboard Top 200, with LCD Soundsystem coming in at number ten, while both albums broke the top ten in the dance/electronic category.
[photogallerylink id=31279 align=left]Hot Chip was mid-way through the second single off their new album, “I Feel Better,” (which has an amazing music video) as I stepped into the Riviera Theatre on Tuesday, October 26th to catch the last of two performances by LCD Soundsytem and Hot Chip.
Unfortunately, I only caught the final songs of Hot Chip’s set, which included “We Have Love,” “Hold On,” “Shake a Fist,” and “Ready for the Floor.” All of which the band seamlessly blended together, as if you were listening to an extended Hot Chip mixtape. Hot Chip is a band that is meant to be experienced live because they improvise and extend their songs into fuzzed-out electro jams. The key ingredient to any dance-oriented concert is the people as well, because no one likes dancing on their own.
[photogallerylink id=42646 align=left]It was HOT at The Riviera Theatre last night. Not only was it almost sold out, but all the moving bodies accounted for one humid evening. The staff at the Riv couldn’t let anyone else on the GA floor by the time I arrived! But the view from the balcony was just as good, and a lot less sweaty. That wouldn’t last though, as LCD Soundsystem was set to take the stage.
The house lights dimmed and the crowd erupted. People of all ages were around us, ready to dance with drinks or water in hand, smiling and high-fiving. The first percussive notes of “Dance Yrself Clean” came from drummer Pat Mahoney while the other members of James Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem crept out on stage, coming into the song as it progressed. I don’t think there is a better way to open a set than with this tune. When Murphy walked out on stage, you could feel the energy in the room grow, as his presence in the world of indie rock is monumental.
“Break me into little pieces, so some of me is home with you,” Murphy sang, reminding us that LCD Soundsystem has been on the road for the better half of 2010. From there, they tore through “Drunk Girls,” “Get Innocuous,” and the crowd favorite “Daft Punk is Playing at My House.” Their light show was also coordinated perfectly with each song. Around 10 – 15 lighting rigs with six – eight individual LEDs surrounded the stage, with a white backdrop appearing periodically to accentuate the colors.
Murphy slowed things down a bit with their newest single, “I Can Change,” and everyone had a minute to catch their breath. But at the end of the song, Mahoney continued to play the drums and high hat, and keyboardist Nancy Whang played disparate piano chords that seem to have no logic until the bass kicks in and Murphy starts singing the lyrics to one of the most important songs written in the 2000’s, “All My Friends.” Pitchfork named it the second most important song of the 2000’s, and if you don’t believe me just watch this video of LCD Soundsystem performing “All My Friends” live at the Pitchfork Music Festival earlier this summer. Set aside eight minutes and really pay attention.
As you can tell from the video, this song really connects with people, and it didn’t miss a beat last night. People sang every word with James Murphy while smoke poured out behind him, creating a nostalgic atmosphere reflected in the song.
But as soon as everyone had a personal moment of clarity, the band burst into “You Wanted a Hit,” “Tribulations,” the incredibly intense “Movement” from their 2005 debut album, and “Yeah (Crass Version).” The lights show and energy from the band climaxed with “Yeah,” as the lasers were in full effect, a four foot disco ball dropped, and smoked covered the stage for Murphy to scream the same word over and over again.
Most of the band left the stage besides their effects head honcho, who stayed on stage playing with different oscillators and effects until the single chord of “Someone Great” was coherent. The band closed with “Someone Great,” “Losing My Edge,” and “Home.”
This performance really could have been one of the last times to witness LCD Soundsystem live. Murphy has hinted at not wanting to tour or, at least, really slow things down with LCD Soundsystem. In “All My Friends,” he sings, “to tell the truth/this could be the last time,” although none of us want to believe it.
Both LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip are at the top of their game, exemplifying how to get everybody dancing and put on an amazing show. If you were lucky enough to make it to either The Aragon Ballroom or The Riv for these shows, let everyone know how much they missed out on one of the best tours of 2010.
*Dance Yrself Clean
*Daft Punk is Playing at My House
*I Can Change
*All My Friends
*You Wanted a Hit
*Yeah (Crass Version)
*Losing My Edge
More Concertgoers Blogs
LCD Soundsystem/Hot Chip @ The Aragon – Thank You
Video: Interview with James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem
Free Download: Hot Chip 2010 Tour Mixtape
Pitchfork Festival Blog – Day 2