Live Review

Hot Chip, Riviera Theater, Chicago

Hot Chip perfectly deliver over and over.

Since entering the mainstream indie-electro scene in 2006 with their breakout sophomore album ‘The Warning’, Hot Chip has received seemingly unending amounts of cross over critical acclaim for their unique blend of R&B-infused modern disco and sophisticated take on the dance genre. While their records are unquestionably as impressive as they are original, it is Hot Chip’s lives sets that truly place the band miles apart from the plethora of acts that share their danceable electro-pop aesthetic.

Hot Chip’s upper hand is in many ways due to the organic instrumental backbone the band infuses into the cycling flow of synth-heavy hooks. The lack of a notable press-play sample bank and an obvious love of onstage track experimentation leads to a perfect storm of, sometimes improvised but always spot-on, indie party anthems that keep their crowds feverishly pulsing all night.

Hot Chip’s performance at the Riviera Theater, Chicago plays out precisely in this manner. From the moment the London-based sextet take the stage with ‘One Life Stand’’s ‘Hand Me Down Your Love’, the venue has exploded into a dance party of epic proportions. Typically, arm-up raving and club bouncing is reserved for the close-quarter elbow bumping of the main floor, but Hot Chip have VIP’s and the entire balcony out of their seats and chanting along with Alexis Taylor’s signature-smooth chorus line, “I’ve known for a long time, you are my love life.”

From here the night only gains momentum with increasingly infectious disco refurb from ‘One Life Stand’. This includes the pleasantly driving synth trills of ‘Thieves in the Night’ and the ‘Made in the Dark’-esque, nu-funk techno thump of the album’s title track. Despite the evening being primarily dictated by Hot Chip’s vigorous dance pace, the band do take time to slow down and cool the room off with gentler numbers vocally fronted by Joe Goddard with ‘Brothers’ and ‘Alley Cats’. Both of which translate notably better as performance pieces than as recordings.

One of the most impressive themes to be replayed throughout the night is Hot Chip’s showcase of multi-instrument ability by reinventing and refreshing their tracks like fan favorite ‘Over and Over’, which takes on heightened power with a heavier guitar hook from Al Doyle and a quickened pace. ‘Over and Over’ is already a chant-back electro-pop party mainstay but when preformed live it truly soars to be one of the most frenzy-inducing tracks to hear live. It is the hipsters’ equivalent of ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. It takes power in its perfect ability to get the whole crowd shouting back lyrics and joyously dancing like fools.

The night culminates with the geek-chic champions kicking into an extended version of ‘Made in the Dark’’s ‘Ready for the Floor’ that leaves show goers panting about how perfect Lollapalooza is going to be this year with Hot Chip co-headlining. From their ovation-filled entrance to their sweaty funk-infused finale, Hot Chip perfectly deliver over and over.

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