This was probably the first show I attended at First Ave where I was more interested in the opening band than the main act. I’ve been a fan of the Chromatics since I saw their video for “In the City” a few years ago. They bring a dark New Wave vibe to their music that makes me want to turn up the collar on my leather jacket and wander the city streets after midnight, looking for love and trouble. Lead singer Ruth Radelet’s breathy vocals give a sweet aftertaste to the rather bitter “Kill for Love”, while “These Streets Will Never Be the Same” sounds like a lost cut from the Drive soundtrack. They closed with brilliant covers of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” and Neil Young’s “Into the Black”.
Hot Chip brought a more revved-up dancefloor energy to the club and soon had the whole crowd jumping to songs like “Ready for the Floor” and “Over and Over”. My only gripe was the blinding strobe lights that threatened to send me into convulsions.
On a related note, A.V. Club is running a great article and accompanying video on First Avenue and its iconic status in the Minneapolis music scene.