Thursday, May 22, 2008

“And when I feel this way I really am with you…”

So one of the shows I didn’t plan on going to see was Hot Chip. I was visiting my bestie, Reggie, in Portland and because he knows I love music he asked if there were any acts I wanted to see while I was visiting. There were few that I recognized, but I said if I were going to see one I would want to see Hot Chip…and so we did.

On Wednesday, April 23rd we headed over to the Crystal Ballroom. The Crystal Ballroom is a McMenamins establishment, a company that owns several bars, restaurants, and venues in the Portland area. They tend to take old buildings and with a lot of history to it and update it for use. The Crystal Ballroom was originally a dance hall, and over time it became a live music venue.

The one unique feature about the venue is the floor. It bounces. I don’t know how or why, but if you were to jump or bounce on it, it pushes back. It sounds odd, but it actually was pretty cool. And for a show like Hot Chip which has very danceable music, which means people would be moving around quite a bit. I was hoping the place would just go nuts. And they did!

Since this was an all ages show they put up this barricade in the middle of the room separating the 21+ crowd from those underage. The stage was on the underage side. But Reggie and I found a pretty good spot.

The opening act was a band called Free Blood. It is a guy (John) and girl (Madeline) duo who also plays electronic music, and sing/loosely rap over it. It was interesting, a little experimental. During this set some of the members of Hot Chip and crew came out onto the floor area to watch the show. No one really bothered them, which is always nice.

By the time Hot Chip came on the crowd was excited. I have to admit I don’t own any Hot Chip albums, and really only know a handful of songs. They do have a new album out, Made In The Dark, and I have heard some songs on KEXP, including “Ready For The Floor.” They did play familiar favorites from their first album, The Warning, like “Over and Over” and “I Was A Boy From School.”

Even though I couldn’t tell you what songs were played that night, I can assure you I enjoyed the show. They were energetic, interactive with the audience, and fun to watch. The music itself got you moving, and by the time the show was over I was smiling. I got to see a solid band at a cool venue. What a great unexpected, addition to my vacation.



“Ready For The Floor”

P.S. Also during my first visit to the Pacific Northwest I got to visit the Doug Fir Lounge (another great live music venue) however we didn’t see a show there (next time).

I also got to go to Seattle for a day and visited the KEXP station and got a tour from Cheryl (so lucky and grateful for that)!

Also in Seattle I got to spend some time with Shannon (who also DJs for KEXP), and she took us to Sonic Boom Records where I got to use my membership card for the discount. Hooray!

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