Normally I would comment on lighting, costumes, size of the venue and other elements, but Caroline Polachek’s voice stole the show, alongside the masterful bass and jazz compositions of Patrick Wimberly. But, Polachek’s voice is just undeniably cool. It’s almost like a perfectly tuned piano, rather than someone’s voice: you push down a key, and out comes the exact sound you asked for.
For the second time in the same month, I had the opportunity to experience the live performance of a band whose music has played a significant part of my life over the last year or so. As I mentioned in the Chairlift preview, there were two or three songs here and there that stood out to me one-by-one, year-by-year. But with last summer having been an emotional one in many ways, I often turned to Chairlift to cheer me up during my jogs, in my unending career (not just job) application process, in the permanent separation from a childhood best friend, in my dad’s leave after a short visit for my sister’s wedding and the list goes on.
Friday night was a happy night – one between just Chairlift, me and my sister – one that didn’t involve any reminiscences to a tough summer. However, since first listening to Moth, Chairlift’s last album, my favorite tracks became the two love songs, “Crying in Public” and “Show U Off.”
That’s all because I quickly transitioned from meeting the softest and sweetest male human being I’ve ever met – on a damn dating app -, to doubting him and regretting doubting him (enter “Crying in Public;” I actually cried through my whole work commute), to relaxing back into the process of truly believing him, to actually being made to relax in a relationship (enter “Show U Off”), to an abrupt ending due to circumstances beyond our control (re-enter “Crying in Public”).
The last time I felt this connected to an artist during his or her performance was when I saw Eliot Sumner last March. I feel uncomfortable exposing myself to the public in this way, but that’s just the definition of relating to the music, and of relating to Polachek in this case. I think that’s the feeling she gives to the Chairlift audience, as her voice swims through the words, bouncing off the carpeted walls of Park West.
And unfortunately, this is the last time we’ll feel this type of connection to Chairlift.