Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hot Chip Throws a Crazy Dance Party at Prospect Park.

In the calm after last night's freak torrential rainstorm across the city, after most outdoor concerts had already been postponed, Celebrate Brooklyn! was officially opening its doors at the Prospect Park Bandshell, albeit over an hour later than planned, to welcome fans of British electro-pop band, Hot Chip, and local experimental musicians, Gang Gang Dance.

Although doors were originally slated to open at 6pm, with Gang Gang Dance beginning their set at 8pm, Celebrate Brooklyn! took to technology to keep up-to-the-minute updates on it website, as well as by twitter and text messages, to let fans know if/when the show would be on, with the final verdict coming around 7pm, that doors would open shortly and Gang Gang Dance would begin at 8pm, the crowd began to flow in.

Gang Gang Dance opens for Hot Chip at Celebrate Brooklyn!
During the first set, there were considerably less people than one would usually expect for a sold out show, but the rain likely delayed many.  Nevertheless, at precisely 8pm, Gang Gang Dance sauntered on stage to a Middle Eastern-sounding tune (some wearing headdresses...), including lead singer, adorable brunette, Lizzi Bougastos.  Today, their facebook page notes, "our rain dance worked!" And, boy, did it ever. These guys (and gal) set the synthesizers on fire, and the hardcore dance tunes quickly got the audience off of their picnic blankets and into the groove.

Hot Chip Rocks the Prospect Park Bandshell 
By the time Hot Chip was ready to go on, any spot even remotely close to the stage was sweaty, elbow to elbow, standing room only.  The sun had all but set as Hot Chip's bizarre beats, eccentric vocal harmony, and the raw, pure instrumental talent made for a thunderous stage entrance with "Boy From School".  With five percussionists and two guitarists (although at various times throughout the show, bandmembers swapped instruments) mixing together all manners of sounds, and colorful strobe-style stage lights pounding in sync with the music, Hot Chip had themselves a dance party worth of any NYC nightclub.  But for the dark, muggy sky above me, I almost forgot that I was at an outdoor venue, as the crowd erupted to the rhythm.

As an avid Hot Chip fan who knows many of their songs by heart, it was also simply cool to be able to match a face to each unique voice I'm used to hearing on their studio albums.  Hot Chip's set was streamed live on NPR last night, and you can listen to the concert here.

The Crowd Can't Get Enough of Hot Chip!
If you didn't get to experience the awesome electronic fun last night, you have two more chances this weekend before Hot Chip leaves the New York City area and, eventually, continues on its international tour, promoting their latest album, "In Our Heads".

Hot Chip will play Terminal 5 tomorrow night, Friday, July 20, and there are still tickets available.  Also, if you're willing to go just a bit out of the way, Hot Chip will move to Philadelphia's Electric Factory on Saturday night, July 21.  Both weekend shows will feature the Chromatics as the opening act.

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