Much sweat was poured from the bodies in constant motion last night at the Aragon, and it wasn’t because of the shockingly warm late October temperatures outside. Instead, it was the amped up danceable electro rock of both LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip.
Let’s start with the headliners, first. LCD Soundsystem is one man, James Murphy, though pulling off the live show requires the help of several other musicians (which includes Hot Chip’s Al Doyle). Murphy had always been by trade a music producer and the co-founder of DFA Records, the label that has been home to the likes of The Rapture, Hot Chip, The Juan Maclean, Hercules and Love Affair, and YACHT among others. Things got going when Murphy and his partners began throwing loft parties in NY’s Lower East Side, which led to releasing remixes and singles of other artists until he started making his own under the LCD Soundsystem moniker.
Fast forward five years and three critically acclaimed records later, and Murphy continues to insist that LCD Soundsystem has a self life and will soon be discontinued in favor of focusing his energy on DFA. But at the same time, he also claimed this before his latest release called ‘This Is Happening’ arrived in May, which has been a Billboard Top 10 album. Add to that a tour of sold out shows in venues that hold audiences in the neighborhood of 5000 strong, and would YOU give it all up so easily? We can only hope that he soldiers on with the project, but just in case, I was NOT going to miss this pass through Chicago in the event that it is indeed the last chance to see LCD.
It’s hardly fair to call British electro pop group Hot Chip the “opening act”, as they never fail fill concert halls to capacity in their own right. Their latest effort, and fourth in all, called ‘One Life Stand’ has itself been a chart-topping record in the UK, and a Top 5 electronic album here in the States.
In my time seeing shows at the Aragon I have never A) seen nearly an entire crowd show up on time for the support act, and B) react to and sing along to almost every song by said act. But again, we’re talking something that more resembles a double-bill than anything else, which made the night that much more special.
It requires a lot of noise to fill the cavernous space of the Aragon..but both acts managed to do it with electronic and live drum beats that you could feel pounding against your chest from anywhere in the room.
Having 60 minutes with which to work, the Hot Chip portion of the night was a bit of a hit fest. The crowd was all-in with spirited performances of the band’s notable tracks such as “Shake A Fist”, “One Night Stand”, and the pounding “Over And Over” before closing with a wonderfully altered live rendition of my personal favorite Hot Chip track, “Ready For The Floor”.
Having only enough time to catch one’s breath and grab a beer, LCD Soundsystem entered the stage to the playing of the 70’s soft rock ballad “I’m Not In Love” by 10cc. That would be about as slow as it would ever be all night, though, as they got right to down to business while Murphy spends practically the entire time with his vintage Sennheiser microphone pressed up against his face. After a steady start of a few tracks, the roof was properly blown off the place when they segued into what is arguably still their most popular track ever (and Chicago dance floor staple), “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House”. All bets were off by that point, as the tiled floor glistened from the humidity that you could literally swim through. Later, as if the group was gauging the audience with a barometer from the stage and knowing it was reaching the boiling point, they moved into “All My Friends” from the 2007 album ‘Sound Of Silver’..at which point I believe I can speak for everyone in attendance in saying that we then lost our collective mind. Add in “Drunk Girls” plus other tracks from the new album, and an encore that began with my personal favorite “Someone Great”, and you’ve got yourself a steamy non-stop dance party unlike anything I’ve attended in quite a while.
The best part? You can still partake. This show sold out so quickly that a 2nd night was added for 8pm tonight at the Riviera, and at the time of posting, tickets still remain. They will run you $34 (MORE than worth it), and you can get them here. Don’t miss out. Be there.