(Photograph by Tom Hines via chairlifted.com)
On Saturday your Editor in Chief and Editor at Large trekked to DC on the green line to see the much buzzed about Chairlift show. We had high hopes for them because we were witness to their magic when they played Baltimore in October. They did not disappoint–and we’ll get to that–the same can not be said about the venue (U Street Music Hall) its staff, the band’s merch table or our fellow concert goers (who refused to dance).
According to its website, The U Street Music Hall “is a DJ-owned and operated basement dance club and live music venue” which explains the service. DJ’s aren’t used to speaking to people on account of the headphones–oh and the egos. To begin with, I was rebuffed by a very unfriendly woman staff person with a pixie cut when I asked if she was in line with her boyfriend for merch. She looked at me as if I had 10 heads. I just had to stand there because I wanted a tote bag really bad, you guys. (#firstworldproblems) Then after the set we were refused service at the bar. At around 10PM. Our order, you ask? 2 sodas. We were told they had to make way for DJ A-Trak whom would take the stage later that evening. The f-u-c-k-? What if we had been drunk and wanted water? Needless to say, we’ll think twice about another show there unless it’s Chairlift.
Caroline Polachek, Patrick Wemberly and company (including BELL) played almost all of the songs from their sophomore album Something including my favorites “Sidewalk Safari,” “Take It Out on Me,” and “I Belong in Your Arms.” They were kind enough to play hits like “Bruises,” “Planet Health,” and “Evident Utensil,” too. Per usual Polachek’s vocals soared above Wemberley’s riffs like the fifth and sixth band member. She’s that good. But their killer performance was all wasted on the crowd! They refused to dance. Well, save for us..and that one guy who jumped on stage. (If you were there you know what I’m talking about.) There was a disco ball and everything. So what gives DC?
This video of “Guilty as Charged” is from two days prior in Atlanta, but I couldn’t find any video from U Street. It’s so good live. Definitely a crowd pleaser. At the very least, a me pleaser: