It is a rare breed of artist that can make crowds at the Casbah start dancing. From time to time there’s an inebriated fan in the front that starts losing inhibitions, and there are always those groups of “dudes” that start jumping around and treating each other to some Pabst-fueled affection. But actual dancing? From the whole crowd? Now that’s a rarity. Les Savy Fav has gotten the crowd moving. !!! has turned the joint into a sweaty disco, and so I hear, though I was not actually there, The Gossip has been able to get those frowny-faced hipsters to shake it. As I have borne witness, there is one more name to add to that list: Hot Chip.
Despite having an impossibly geeky appearance, straight down to Alexis Taylor’s horn rim glasses and Joe Goddard’s tie-dye Grateful Dead t-shirt, the UK electronic outfit tore the place up. They debuted a handful of new songs, which gave their set an added bit of excitement and surprise, though it was primarily the fan favorites that made the bodies move. “Colours” was given a heavy disco makeover, while “And I Was a Boy From School” bumped heartily, causing practically everyone in the venue to bounce in unison. The fact that these full band arrangements sounded even more full than their warm, recorded versions made for a truly fantastic evening. And for the first time that I can remember, there was a mirror ball spinning in the center of the room.
Openers Born Ruffians and Shy Child offered their own thrilling highlights as well. The former, while upbeat and joyous, had to leave after their set due to members being under 21 (d’oh!). The latter, however, rocked a two-man keytar and drums approach that emitted a thicker and more powerful sound than one could imagine coming from just two fellers. That they were interrupted between songs by a drunk girl suggesting they hire a DJ just made it that much more entertaining.
Expectations were exceeded, new treats were discovered, fun was had by all. And, thankfully, no over-hyped dudes and beer baptisms. Amen.