Chairlift (Farewell Tour at Park West)

I was scrolling through Twitter in early 2016 when I saw a tweet encouraging Prefab Sprout fans to check out the band Chairlift, an electronic duo from Brooklyn. The link included was to a video for the song Crying In Public (see below). As promised, it was fairly reminiscent of Prefab Sprout’s work with producer Thomas Dolby. Railroad pulsing grooves with otherworldly acoustic adornments, highlit by a very talented female vocalist. I downloaded their most recent album, Moth, and began to enjoy each of the other songs on the record.

Chairlift Singer and keyboardist Caroline evokes the smooth delivery of Sade but with much more range- flipping up through octaves effortlessly. Producer Patrick brings it all together, moving between guitar, bass, and drums.

So I had finally found a new favorite band! And I saw they were coming to Double Door for a- what? A farewell tour? What the fuck? So, as mysteriously as they arrived in my headphones, they have now disappeared into the ether, with Patrick heading off to produce other acts and Caroline embarking on a solo career. But hey- I’ve still got Moth, and a handful of other releases.

The Double Door closed after years of legal battles, so the Chairlift farewell show was moved to Park West on Armitage and Clark. Maureen and I went, and sat at a nice little table drinking cider and whiskey respectively. The crowd was a good mix of 20 and 30-somethings. The performance was great. Caroline navigated her impressive range while incorporating hypnotic dance moves (I think she’s ballet trained). Patrick moved from drums to guitar, and throughout the show the duo was joined by an extra guitar player and a saxophonist. Chairlift played selections from throughout their 10 year career, including a few favorites that I had become close to over the past year.

We probably won’t see anything new from Chairlift, but there is plenty of material out there to check out. I suggest you do when you get the chance.


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