All photos by Autumn Andel.
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Even if you were not familiar with the Mississippi neighborhood, you could identify Mississippi Studios—where Wednesday night's sold-out Chairlift show took place—from blocks away by the rare sight of a prodigious tour bus parked outside its doors.
Chairlift, the electropop project initiated by the prolific Caroline Polachek at the University of Colorado in 2005, took four years in between its sophomore and their latest full-length, Moth. Even before its release in January, the duo has been busy promoting its material live.
Warming up our auditory nerves was Lydia Ainsworth, an experimental electronic pop artist from Toronto. With a silvery wig and a translucent vinyl dress, Ainsworth looked fit for an intergalactic party. Her tiny frame sprouted like a fragile flower on the crowded stage, filled with musical apparatuses—yet her voice was ardent and casted a mystifying spell over the audience that cheered for more after her last note.
Three male musicians walked onto the stage as the clock neared half past 10. Dressed in neutral attire, they took their posts: drums, bass, and saxophone. Then the visual centerpiece, Polachek, took all our attention, with her long black hair neatly pulled back into a braid and donning an outfit that looked to be taken off a dancer's fashion-show runway. The singer was even slimmer in person, with a glow of a woman happily in love (Polachek was married last October).
Chairlift's set opened with “Look Up,” and the program highlighted the songs of Moth, but also included crowd favorites “Amanaemonesia” and “Bruises.” For the encore, Polachek and her band mate, Patrick Wimberly, introduced a new track, “Get Real,” and finished the night with the first single from Moth, “Ch-Ching”.
Polachek never broke a sweat, maneuvering from her keyboard to falling to the floor during one of her many acrobatic moves, she made the life of a pop musician look all too effortless and merry. Whether it was an illusion or not, I guess this is why people come to shows—to escape from our sometimes inescapable problems. So thank you, Chairlift, for lifting my spirits for an hour or so.