Last Night Text Message from Portland
posted by April 24 at 1:58 AMon
You know how certain clubs in Seattle are forced to divide up the room with those barriers only really appropriate for manipulating cattle, those low walls that designate a side of the room for people who are allowed to be holding beverages containing alcohol (wheee!) and a side for people who are not allowed to be holding beverages containing alcohol (tsk! tsk!) and a weird, wide space in between—it’s gotta be wide enough to keep you from, like, reaching across the divide, because god forbid someone hand a 19-year-old a beer (can you imagine!?)—and at a show where you want to dance and drink you invariably can’t both dance and drink, unless you want to dance in back where no one is dancing, which is depressing and wrong? Well, it’s something to note that things are no different in Portland. Even here, where people are constantly undressing in front of others, the 21+/not-21+ divide is very, very serious, and they’re perfectly willing—McMenamins is—to divide up an old beautiful room being filled with the joyous sounds of a band from an old beautiful continent and to administer that divide with individuals who could barely find the stamp they’d already stamped on my hand, to say nothing of the UK on a map.
Whatever—I danced anyway. I jumped around (that Crystal Ballroom floor is jumptastic) in a green necktie and a bike helmet. No coat check. I didn’t want someone to take it. I don’t care what people thought. I don’t think it looked quite as crazy as the red-and-white-striped I-just-stole-this-from-someone-who-works-at-a-carnival shirt that Alexis Taylor, Hot Chip’s lead singer, wore onstage. Same one he wore in Seattle. I had no idea what a dork Taylor is, which is to say, I had no idea how much I’m in love with him.
Setlist was the same. As in Seattle, it didn’t include “Keep Fallin’,” although at one point early on, between songs, there was a quiet moment into which someone in the crowd shouted “KEEP FALLIN’!” and Taylor and another guy heard and said something to each other, seemed to be taking it into consideration. Then, like, half an hour later, there was another beat between songs and the same guy—OK, it was me—shouted “KEEP FALLIN’!” Yeah, it’s weird to ask twice for a song off an album from 2005, but what can I say? I really wanted to hear it. And I wasn’t the only one: a total stranger came up to me and told me that if they weren’t gonna play my song I should ask them to play “the Stevie Wonder song.” He didn’t realize that that song is called “Keep Fallin’.”
Then Hot Chip finished their set, having not performed “Keep Fallin’,” and left the stage, and then came back, and did four or so songs, and guess what song was not among them? During the part where the guy was saying, “This is going to be our last song,” I was still holding out hope, but then Taylor started singing something else and—all my love for him having evaporated, especially since he’d traded the red-and-white stripes for a band t-shirt—I thought: Fuck you, Hot Chip, fuck you. I got on my bike and cued up “Keep Fallin’” and listened to it as I pedaled over the river; my iPod does “Keep Fallin’” perfectly.