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Nochella, April 18: Hot Chip, cool crowd

Hot Chip at The Cosmopolitan (COURTESY PHOTO: ERIK KABIK)
Hot Chip at The Cosmopolitan (COURTESY PHOTO: ERIK KABIK)

That's more like it, Las Vegas. 

Yesterday we reported on the dickbaggery taking place at the Of Monsters and Men show. Well Hot Chip's Thursday night crowd at The Boulevard Pool made up for it.

Even though the pool deck for the British electronic septet-for-this-show (the group's core is five members) wasn't nearly as packed as shows prior, leaving lots of breathing room at only what I guess you could call a pool half full, the vast majority of the audience was in high spirits, dancing, and paying attention, from set opener "How Do You Do?" (In Our Heads, 2012) to the more recognizable bangers ("Over and Over" from 2006's The Warning and "Ready for the Floor" from 2008's Made in the Dark), all silhouetted by LED light bars behind the band like flourescent rain perpetually dripping down a windowpane.

What was so striking was how unique this set felt. The music was extremely danceable, as evidenced by the audience. But it had these little surprises. Firstly, the inclusion of steel drums throughout the set, but most prominently on "One Life Stand." Then, in the middle of the ravaging bass lines and powerful dance beats they broke through with "Look at Where We Are," an improbably sexy r&b slow jam from In Our Heads that acted like a magnet between the couples in the crowd. It was sexier than any Drake song, but still had that world beat, almost one-drop sensibility and silky vocals, which looked both unusual but absolutely perfect from a bunch of older British dudes. Either way, it ruled. In the top three tracks of the night, from our perspective.

Maybe it was the warmer weather. Or that The Cosmopolitan team put out space heaters. Or the 3-4-person totem pole constantly trying to reach toward the sky before security caught up to them and insisted that's, like, the most dangerous shit ever. But the point being, it was a really fun show, and a welcome follow-up to the evening prior. The band thanked everyone for dancing, mentioning it was its first visit to Sin City. We're often embarrassed of the crowds at first-time-in-Vegas international acts. We weren't last night. And making a great first impression was a welcome change.