Danish rock trio New Politics made the third stop on its 2018 “Lost in Translation” tour at Metro Chicago (3730 N. Clark St.) Feb. 18. Touring in support of its fourth studio album, “Lost in Translation” released this past October, the band put on one of the most energetic, entertaining and downright fun concerts the intimate Metro Chicago may have seen in a while.
Chicago-based synth-rock group Laik and Brooklyn-based rock trio DREAMERS joined New Politics as opening acts, and they perfectly set the mood for the rest of the night. Laik did their home city proud by firing up the audience with their unique sound, but DREAMERS was particularly skilled at getting the crowd to cheer and jump with its catchy melodies and sometimes defiant songs. The loud guitars and crashing drums were an apt preview of what was to come.
A red fabric sheet littered with white flowers — matching the “Lost in Translation” album art — served as the stage backdrop for New Politics’ impressive 90-minute set. In a sea of fog and flashing lights, lead singer David Boyd, guitarist Søren Hansen and drummer Louis Vecchio took the stage to deafening cheers and applause.
The band launched into its opening song, “Istanbul,” from its most recent album and the stage antics New Politics is known for immediately began. Boyd showed off some of his quirky dance moves and even ventured out into the crowd. With the help of a
security guard, he was hoisted into the air by a handful of fans as he sang into his red handheld microphone.
Unhindered by a guitar or any other instrument, Boyd continued to dance around the stage and interact with every fan he could throughout the next few songs. He eventually retreated to a small keyboard beside the drum riser as Hansen took over on vocals for two older singles, “Love is a Drug” and “15 Dreams.” Arms waved and heads banged in the crowd during the song, making Hansen smile from behind his mic.
After “15 Dreams,” the band took a short breather, during which Boyd spoke about his love for Chicago and even bowed down to the audience.
“[Chicago] really is one of our favorite cities in America,” Boyd said from the stage. “You’re a rock-and-roll city, and we love that.”
Throughout the concert, there was a good mix of new and old songs, and each song seemed to elicit the same enthusiastic response from the audience. “Lifeboat” off “Lost in Translation” pleased fans, as did “Color Green,” a slower ballad in the midst of a barrage of high-energy songs. Boyd introduced the song by talking about the recent birth of his daughter, mentioning the lyrics, “The idea scares me that one day you’ll grow up … I want to be there when you take your first steps.” As green lights lit the stage, Boyd sang to the fans with one foot on the stage and the other precariously balanced on the barricade while shaking and holding fans’ hands.
After belting his heart out for a few more songs, Boyd picked up a tambourine as a beat-up piano was wheeled out onstage for the blonde, floppy-haired Hansen to play. Hansen sat down and serenaded the crowd with the almost jazzy new song “Madeleine,” and the emotional love ballad “Stardust” from the band’s 2015 album, “Vikings.” These songs provided the perfect showcase for Hansen’s vocals and gave Boyd a chance to rest his voice and rock out on his keyboard again.
New Politics closed its set with its classic 2013 single, “Harlem,” during which Boyd performed his signature backflip off the drum riser. The band left the stage for barely 60 seconds before returning for the encore, playing new song “Lifted,” “Pretend We’re in a Movie” from “Vikings” and the borderline-screamo jam “Yeah Yeah Yeah” from 2010. After Hansen threw his guitar in the air and watched it plummet to the stage, New Politics thanked the crowd for a great night and took a bow.
New Politics is a band that reminds music lovers why live music is a treasured necessity. Concerts provide an escape from the stresses and worries of school, work and life in general — and this concert did that job.
“Lost in Translation” can be purchased and streamed online through iTunes and Spotify.