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Monday, March 2, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 27.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
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Hot Hot Heat and the Editors: A hit of ecstasy
Majestic Theatre features two acts that channel the '80s
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Hot Hot Heat
Hot Hot Heat

Get a kick out of creative coifs, singers in love with their own hyper-dramatic delivery, and pumping bass and synth parts that keep the kids bouncing up and down until long after the Jager and the weed wear off? Then the double bill featuring Canada's Hot Hot Heat and the U.K.-based Editors is an absolutely must-see affair. While the bulk of us have left the '80s far behind, both of these terribly self-indulgent (and, for that reason, terrifically fun) acts can't get enough of 'em. At least sonically.

Canadian headliners Hot Hot Heat have been around for years, and frankly, the departure of some key members has led to a slicker sound. But thanks to Steve Bay's urgent, froggy vocals and a surfeit of tunes about love, girls, rock dreams and, well, more girls, their 2007 release Happiness Ltd. is the sort of pop candy that explodes with sweetness just long enough to rouse the typical adolescent rocker from her teenage depression.

Hot Hot Heat's addiction to XTC's herky-jerky pop-rock has increased to the point where Andy Partridge probably should be demanding a cut of the profits from giddy New Wave knockoffs like Happiness Ltd.'s "Harmonicas & Tambourines."

Bay and company put on pert, vivifying live performances, and anyone who steps into the Majestic looking for a bracing transfusion of pop-rock pulchritude won't be disappointed.

Looking for more substance than that? Stick around for headliners the Editors, who take a different approach to the decade of Thatcher, Reagan and Donkey Kong. Goth-rock cuties the Cure are their main muse, and on most songs singer Tom Smith sounds like a cross between Ian Curtis and Robert Smith. While the vocals can be dour, the disco-influenced rhythm tracks often border on the ecstatic. Dance fans with a taste for charcoal-toned charnel-house chic will be wearing big grins.

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