Chairlift is performing its final Chicago show Friday night at Park West. The band is breaking up simply due to the pursuit of individual projects for both its members. It’s extra bittersweet for me, as in my few years following this band, Friday’s show will be my first and last time hearing Chairlift live. But I appreciate the work the band has done in its successful 10-year run, and I have no doubts you or I will be disappointed for what is to come for both band members.
I remember first hearing Chairlift as a college radio DJ. I was constantly searching around for new music, as I hosted a music show solo and simply yearned to discover music daily. I had a few routes to finding that music, and I don’t remember how I came upon “Evident Utensil,” the song that introduced me to the jazzy bass, synth-pop and flexi-vocal combination created by Aaron Pfenning, Patrick Wimberly and Caroline Polachek.
Pfenning left the band in 2010, leaving Polachek and Wimberly to continue to showcase the talent of a four- or five-piece band.
That’s the only song I had listened to until I began working at a clothing store whose music playlist was in the same rotation for the entire two years I was employed there. Throughout those two years, a few songs that I can probably count on one hand remained favorites. One of those songs was “Ghost Tonight,” which once again displays Polachek’s beautifully smooth, wide-ranged vocals and Wimberly’s eerie, creeping bass.
The rest is history. Chairlift slowly became my jogging pals, my commuting pals, my cleaning pals and Friday night they’ll be their audience’s dancing pals.