Night 3 of the Converse Represent series in San Francisco was a freeform freakfest dance party set to make all genders whip off their shirts faster than you could say ‘Over and Over.’ The night started out in glowing synthesizer with hometown cuties Social Studies, bringing a little shoegaze vibe to a curious crowd. Lead singer Natalia Rogovin had a delightful voice that pulled in many new fans.
By contrast, San Francisco’s Tycho brought some serious noise fuzz to Slim’s, playing with a full band that backed lead dude Scott Hansen for the full package. Tycho has the ability to make even the most serious nod heads to their wistful guitars, and with Hansen being a graphic designer as his day job, the accompanying visuals of landscapes, abstract figures, and visceral colors only add to the experience. Tycho live is loud and soft, pulsing and melodic, and is a true treasure to the Bay Area music scene.
All bets were off once the U.K.’s Hot Chip climbed onto stage. Having played the 2800-capacity Fox Theatre only six months ago, it was a real treat to see the electro outfit in an 800-capacity joint. By the third song, shirts started coming off as the heat level was literally through the roof in the amount of sweat and dancing that was occurring. Sure, they played the hits – “Ready For The Floor,” “Over and Over,” “One Life Stand” – but Hot Chip as a band still manages to reinvent their live decorum every time by tweaking that song just a bit, playing this song just a little longer. Lead singer Alexis Taylor, dressed in an all-white suit and specs, bounced from keys to guitar to vocals effortlessly, while guitarist Al Doyle delved into shredding his axe and shredding his clothes off simultaneously. It’s important to note that even after five studio albums and several Bay Area shows since 2006, Hot Chip have not skimped on their live showsmanship, and continually provide some of the best dance music – even if it is to strip to.