If there was a British version of the movie “Nerds,” the movie band would probably look a lot like Hot Chip. It’s certainly plausible they’d sound like Hot Chip, too.
The band took the stage wearing all white with the exception of keyboard player/vocalist Joe Goddard, who had the album art printed on a large piece of cloth, then brought that large piece of cloth to a tailor to be made into a full suit.
A creamsicle-orange partition stood behind the band and wave after wave of bright, saturated LED lighting washed over them in a steady cycle. Every so often, a black light illuminated a single member of the band, activating head to toe splatters of neon paint.
As a fan of an older, established band, there’s an expectation (re: dread) that new tour sets by those bands will be dominated by new material. The new songs are all fine and well, but they don’t carry as much meaning or emotional weight as the older ones. They haven’t soundtracked a road trip, a break-up, or the random afternoon you took off that wound up changing your life. But that wasn’t the case with Hot Chip. They covered their 15-year catalog well, striking a balance and dipping only slightly in Bath Full of Ecstasy’s favor.
Not only did they do a fine job selecting their own music, they also absolutely 1000% killed it on their cover of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage.” And you know who else did? The guy next to me, SCREAMING the lyrics at the top of his lungs as he jumped around like a maniac.
The band announced on the Wednesday leading up to the show they’d be sticking around to play a DJ set after their concert. Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard would take the helm for a back-to-back set, extending everyone’s night of music and dancing by two hours.
I thought to myself, “Hot damn, Hot Chip, you really know how to make a Ben happy.” And yes, sometimes I do talk about myself in the third person.
Joe Goddard released an absolute standout of a record in 2017 (Electric Lines, if you’re wondering) and has followed that up with a steady stream of soulful and incredibly dance-able remixes. He has solid taste and puts together mixes that form more of a journey than a simple playlist of songs. Those abilities were really on display as he and Alexis traded off every song or two.
Their set spanned a similar genre gamut as the band, starting with feely indie pop before gradually introducing a more steady back-beat and song style. They teetered between the two around the halfway point of their set before diving headlong into straight dance music.
It was a different feel inside of First Avenue, with the guys occupying the perch behind the glass upstairs on the opposite side of the dance floor from the stage. It felt like an old school dance night, like First Avenue was a place to just hang out and talk and less of a get in, see a concert, then get out that it’s become.
After hearing one particular song dropped at festivals and individual shows, and watching the crowd react as if somebody just mashed the nos button for their body, I can safely say that it is one of the best songs in all existence. If they ever send another gold record into space, “HAL” by Kolsch & Tiga needs to be on it. There were maybe 150 people in First Ave when the guys dropped it, but the energy in the room suddenly felt like it was closer to 10,000.
It took until the latter part of the DJ set after the concert, and a song that wasn’t featured on their new album, much less written by Hot Chip, but in that moment of electric abandon, I felt like I finally understood what they meant by, A Bath Full of Ecstasy.
While it does not include the DJ set with the mania, there’s still a way you can enjoy the concert. Local radio station The Current live-streamed the concert in its entirety, which you can watch via their YouTube channel, or just below: