Hot Chip

British electro rockers Hot Chip leap between insanely bouncy pop and slightly more subtle electronic musings on their albums, but their live show forgets preciousness and brings on the dance party. Terminal 5 was packed with beer-splashers Saturday night as the once dance club remembered its beginnings and saw three floors of fans surge in waves of crazy movement. Pushing nerd to the peak of cool, these five partied under a seizure-inducing light display and showed the audience what a bunch of guys can do with an unusually high number of synthesizers. Singer on the higher register Alexis Taylor hopped around with the buoyancy of a rabbit and proved to all that turquoise hammer pants are now back in. His modestly buttoned formal shirt was shed for one reading “Do It!” while his signature dweebish glasses stayed miraculously in place. The deeper voiced Joe Goddard’s parts demanded that his hands remain glues to the keyboard, but this did not keep him from bopping and writhing so as not to miss out on the goodtimey fun. All the while, a giant backdrop brandishing the cover of their latest album Made In The Dark shone with a mighty orange, the color of fun.

Songs from 2006’s award winning The Warning like “Boy From School” and “Over And Over” pleased the crowd to a notable degree, but what really got the dance floor thumpin’ was the explosive hit ‘Ready For The Floor” off their disk of backdrop fame. This number was dedicated to our fine city, much to the proud approval of the fans, and our reward was the dropping of a bunch of giant white balloons. Terminal 5’s scarily large disco ball made an appearance on “Touch Too Much,” while “Bendable Posable” stirred things up with an altered vocal line to make up for the usual roboty parts. The new song “Alley Cats” carried a few slinkier moments but in the end stayed true to Hot Chip form and suggested promise for this next album. The crowd certainly enjoyed it, as they did the entire show, where not one party-pooper was allowed to remain stiff as the group mentality demanded that all move to the music. Certainly for the lucky recipient of Taylor’s sweaty towel, but mostly likely to all, this was an excellent way to begin one’s Saturday night out right.

Photos by Colin Colfer

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Growing

Creating enrapturing soundscapes that penetrate the brain just so, an ambient noise band have a hard task ahead of them in playing a giant music hall filled with thousands of chattering Saturday–nighters. Rising to the challenge, Kevin Doria and Joe DeNardo of Brooklyn’s Growing casually entered the stage and delivered their set with precision as Terminal 5’s enormous, glittering disco ball threatened above the audience. Captivating in the way they pulse through the blood of any soul nearby, Growing’s tunes mellow out the mind with their trippy smoothness while at the same time peaking the most intense curiosity with myriad tools, effects, and bits of “what was that?!” sound. The second challenge, then, of this evening was the translation of their signature mash effectively in a live setting, and this was unarguably accomplished to maximum result. The pair left not a break for clapping or such signs of life, barreling straight through with their particular brand of hypnosis to deliver a carefully calculated whole.

To be sure, watching Growing play engages not only with unavoidable bolts of energy, but the fun game of attempting to figure out who and what is making which sound. Doria bumped around with a sweet crystal blue clear guitar while DeNardo played Hendrix-style on another restrung for his left-handedness, and both rocked gently to their own creations. Their newest material off the recently released All The Way contains more hooks than previous work, and an almost whimsical flow was achieved as these numbers showed their stuff. Like adding a lump of sugar to the mixture of pulsating hum and loopy madness, Growing’s latest work adds hints of melody to already dense clouds of sound, and to hear it live rather than headphoned seems to be the most potentially riveting. Appropriately, the dance-happy revelers there to see electro-popters Hot Chip clutched their beers tighter for security, moved to gape in awe at the gentlemen before them with their gadget-filled briefcases.

Photos by Colin Colfer