Review, photos: Chairlift’s farewell at Bimbo’s

Chairlift, Caroline Polachek, Patrick Patrick Wimberly

Photos: Alessio Neri

SAN FRANCISCO — Before Chairlift officially parts ways at the end of the month, the Brooklyn electronic and R&B duo Thursday embarked on one last tour, beginning with two shows at Bimbo’s.

Chairlift, Miya Folick
9 p.m., Friday
Tickets: $20 (Sold out).

Singer-songwriter Caroline Polachek plans to focus on her solo music as Ramona Lisa, while drummer-bassist Patrick Wimberly plans to focus on producing other musicians. But it cannot be left unsaid that the two have made something special with Chairlift over the past decade. From 2008’s Does You Inspire You, with surprise pop hit “Bruises,” to 2012’s forward-thinking Something, to 2016’s Moth, a full turn into R&B, it’s clear that Polachek and Wimberly could have continued to write smart and engaging songs.

At Bimbo’s on Thursday, Chairlift covered its entire short discography. It didn’t take long for the duo to dig back in its repertoire, with bassy throwback “Evident Utensil.”

“This is fun; we haven’t played these songs in a long time,” Wimberly remarked afterward.

Chairlift moved forward to “Sidewalk Safari,” off Something, and to the first performance of “Take It Out On Me” since that album’s tour in 2012. Wimberly switched from the drum kit to the bass, the first of several times he would go back and forth from the instruments. He and Polachek were joined by a saxophonist and guitarist for most of the performance.

On “Show U Off,” off Moth, Polachek relished delivering the high falsettos as a diva. She was dressed to suit the persona of the song, in a sparkling black leotard. “Romeo” followed, allowing the singer to dance off some pent-up energy. Another trip back to 2012 followed with “Met Before,” which the duo performed by itself, with Wimberly’s synthy bass as the only accompaniment.

The music game of hopscotch continued. The full band played “Get Real,” a song recorded during the Moth sessions but did not make it to the album. Following Moth ballad “Crying in Public,” ubiquitous 2008 single “Bruises” came next, inciting a sing-along.

“Moth to the Flame” and “Ch-Ching,” two newer dance tracks, followed, and Polachek again let loose.

“The bitter sweetness hasn’t kicked in yet. We’re just having fun!” she said afterward. She and Wimberly closed the main set with the live debut of Moth track “There’s No Such Thing As Illusion,” which Polachek said was her and her band mate’s favorite song on the album.

She said the two saved their favorite songs for the encore, and for those keeping tabs, they were Moth’s “Polymorphing,” Something’s “Amanaemonesia” and Does You Inspire You’s “Planet Health.”

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