Live Review: Hot Chip with the xx at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 24 April 2010

By on Monday, 26th April 2010 at 2:00 pm

Washington D.C. natives were “Ready for the Floor” (insert chuckle here) for Hot Chip‘s third ever appearance at the 9:30 Club Saturday night. The sold-out gig also featured support from the xx, who have steadily built a solid reputation here in America over the last 8 months through a near relentless touring schedule. Thankfully, both London acts were already in our country before the Icelandic volcano eruption, grounding the Coachella dreams of many acts including Bad Lieutenant, the Cribs, and Delphic.

Hordes of underage kids were raring to go for the xx’s set. Why? This was the third time the band was due to play in town, and the largest yet, and I had a feeling these were the kids that had missed out on the previous smaller headlining gigs at DC9 (November 2009) and Sixth and I Synagogue (March 2010). Little was said between songs (likely due to the band’s exhaustion from being in our country touring for 6 weeks) but based on the wild reaction of the audience, it didn’t matter. They were there for the music, and the tunes were spot on as the band forged through a set of most of the songs off their debut album ‘xx’. Their performance ended on an exciting note when the band finished ‘Infinity’ with an energetic instrumental outro featuring bassist Oliver Sim beating on a drum kit high-hat vigourously.

Despite two previous stops in D.C. in support of earlier albums, I’d never seen Hot Chip before. I like a good dance number and was eager to see if the clunkers on ‘One Life Stand’ would stand up to live performance (read my review here). While I’m still not wild about some tracks off the new album, the overall exhilaration generated by these relative elders of the electropop / dance scene was amazing. Perennial favourites ‘Over and Over’ and ‘Ready for the Floor’ didn’t disappoint, and the reception to ‘One Life Stand’ and other numbers from the new album like ‘We Have Love’ and set opener ‘Hand Me Down My Love” indicate that the band have new crowd pleasers to add to future shows. So if you ever get a chance to jump on this soul train, climb aboard to dance and enjoy the ride.

America’s National Public Radio (or NPR for short) were at the show broadcasting the gig live. Thanks to their benevolence, you can listen to the streams of both bands’ sets on their Web site now.

After the cut: setlists and more photos.

The xx Set List
Basic Space

The xx photos:

Hot Chip Set List
Hand Me Down My Love
One Pure Thought
Thieves in the Night
One Life Stand
Over and Over
Alley Cats
Boy from School
Take It In
We Have Love
Hold On
I Feel Better
No Fit State
Ready for the Floor

Hot Chip Photos:

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