Hot Hot Heat 

& Ima Robot

October 11, 2003

It may be ice-cold upstairs in Canada, but Hot Hot Heat were a bona fide bonfire on the stage at Irving Plaza in New York City. Their disheveled frontman Steve Bays was like a buzzing electron, bouncing around the stage, doing kinetic knee-bends and acrobatic moves—constantly interacting and making contact with the frenzied audience. In between the belted-out vocal choruses, he would scramble back to his keyboard command-console and pound out a modulating melody that always fit the occasion. The other band members were equally as hyper and flushed, spinning and careening off one another and the audience, generating a manic and upbeat cacophony of noise.








Opening up for Hot Hot Heat were the French Kicks (nothing to write home about) and glam-rockers Ima Robot. Singer Alex Ebert conjures up old Bowie flashbacks, laden with more contemporary, if not derivative, hysterical new wave urgency. Sporting what looked like white satin pajamas and silver ballet slippers, Ebert took Jim Carey’s Dumb and Dumber haircut one step further with the addition of a fearsome mullet in the rear. And after Beck’s mostly acoustic Sea Change, former Beck drummer (Joey Waronker) and bassist (Justin Meldal-Johnsen) probably made wise career moves in drinking the free-wheeling Ima Robot kool-aid… at least if they were concerned about playing time.



(c) 2003 Text and Photos by Derek White