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Hot Chip take their game to the next level at LA’s Greek Theatre

Hot ChipBy Josh Herwitt //

Hot Chip with !!! (Chk Chk Chk) //
Greek Theatre – Los Angeles
August 11th, 2015 //

It takes a special kind of band that can pack the Greek Theatre on a Tuesday night and ignite a full-blown dance party within minutes, but after spending the last 15 years perfecting their craft, Hot Chip proved to be more than up for the challenge on their latest stop through LA.

Coming off their much-talked-about set at Outside Lands last weekend, the London septet was joined by electronic/​synthwave musician Com Truise and longtime dance-punk band !!! (Chk Chk Chk). With the Greek still half empty, !!! lead singer Nic Offer did his best to energize fans with a pair of short shorts and a bag full of flamboyant dance moves. Part of the problem at the Greek has always been that shows are forced to start on the earlier side due to its strict 11 p.m. curfew, but by the time !!! had finished their 40-minute set, most of the seats inside the Greek had been filled with fans eagerly awaiting Hot Chip’s presence.

Hot Chip

The house lights dimmed just after 9 p.m., and all seven members — Alexis Taylor (vocals, synthesizer, guitar, percussion, piano), Joe Goddard (vocals, synthesizer, percussion), Owen Clarke (guitar, bass, synthesizer, percussion), Felix Martin (drum machines, synthesizer, programming), Al Doyle (guitar, backing vocals, synthesizer, percussion, bass, flugelhorn, steel pans), Rob Smoughton (guitar, bass, percussion, backing vocals, synthesizer) and Sarah Jones (drums, backing vocals) — took the stage to a roaring applause from an audience of all ages, one with many who looked like they were having the time of their lives. It was the first time the band had been in LA since 2012, and with its most recent album Why Make Sense? less than three months old, they didn’t waste any time diving into their new material.

Hot Chip have been opening with “Huarache Lights”, the first single off Why Make Sense?, on this tour, and they did exactly the same at the Greek before transitioning into another big hit of theirs, this time the title track from their 2010 success One Life Stand. For as well-received as Why Make Sense? has been, Hot Chip didn’t favor it in light of their older songs. But of the tracks they did play from their latest album, all of them resonated with the overjoyed and surprisingly polite audience. From the electro-funk groove that anchors “Easy to Get” to the electropop sounds of “Started Right”, they compelled the crowd no matter which song they played on this night.

Hot Chip

When it was time for the encore, Hot Chip dialed it back all the way to 2006, the year their sophomore LP The Warning was nominated for a Mercury Prize. And although “Boy from School” served as one of its earliest hits, the group also decided to pay homage to a couple of its influences, with one being none other than The Boss, aka Bruce Springsteen. The band, in fact, has been covering “Dancing in the Dark” for several months now, but watching it close the show with its own rendition of LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends” was just as gratifying in the end. Sure, the song selection may not have been a surprise considering Doyle used to play in James Murphy’s now-defunct dance-punk outfit, but with the way Hot Chip can hold an audience’s attention these days, it may not be long before another band is breathing new life into one of their own songs.

Setlist:
Huarache Lights
One Life Stand
Night & Day
Easy to Get
Started Right
Flutes
Over and Over
Alley Cats
Cry for You
Need You Now
Ready for the Floor
I Feel Better

Encore:
Look at Where We Are
Boy from School
Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen cover)
All My Friends (LCD Soundsystem cover)

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