Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hot Chip with Born Ruffians & Shy Child at Sonar

How did Baltimore land the opening night of Hot Chip's US tour? I've been looking forward to seeing this band for some time, and last night they played at Sonar downtown.
The openers were Born Ruffians, a trio from Toronto. I knew absolutely nothing about them, but after their set, I bought their cd. They were pretty impressive. The drummer was tight, and I liked their post-punk sound mixed with yelling, singing in the round, and funny lyrics about being a young single guy. The crowd was hesitant to approach the stage for some reason.
The second act was Shy Child from Brooklyn. I wasn't so hot for them. They seemed to have a small following, but the combination of the same electro roland keyboard sound and drums with melody-lacking songs became boring when each song pretty much sounded the same. Thankfully, they added a sax player at the end to mix it up. The lead singer made faces like Robert DeNiro when jamming on his keyboard-tar. I would have liked to have heard any variation from their sound- anything. . .
Hot Chip were fantastic!
Alas, they were short on 5th member Felix who would have been on the drum machines, but luckily, they had with them Pat, the drummer from Les Savy Fav and LCD Soundsystem. A DFA connection no doubt.
The members all switched off on synthesizers, guitars, percussion, and vocals. The set was really fun, and the crowd was really getting into them- dancing all around. I do prefer their more downtempo songs, "And I was a Boy From School" and "Colours".
At one point, they broke out into a few bars of New Order's "Temptation"- that was pretty nice.
I like the fact that they are clearly nerds. No surprise that Alexis, the lead singer (who reminds me of my friend Saff) was wearing a DEVO shirt and green glasses. Joe, the chubby guy playing next to Alexis was wearing a Marvel Comics t-shirt.

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