Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rock 'n' Roll

I went out last night to see Ladytron and The Faint, but came away most impressed with their opener, Crocodiles. They're a duo from California and like the two headliners they used some backing tracks/samples. Now this is not surprising with two dance-pop bands who are heavy into the synthesizers, but the Crocs (or whatever silly nickname you want to call them) are ostentsibly a rock band, with a guitar player and a singer/occasional guitar player. On paper, this live configuration sounds like a cop-out -- a band without an actual full band. But in reality it was utterly fantastic. Why? Because they had attitude in all the right ways. In contrast to the lavish setup of the other two bands, they had four red lights on the floor and nothing else. The two men wore sunglasses and bore striking resemblances to young versions of Scott Walker and Bob Dylan (at least from where I was standing). And they played like they fucking meant it. The music took a lot from Jesus and Mary Chain but with interludes and tangents that reminded me of No Age (who I learned today are big fans of theirs). It was such a perfect 30 minutes of rock and roll, and after a decade of going to shows, it's wonderful to still see something like that.

Also a quick note, Ladytron put on a clinic on how not to use strobe lights. They placed six strobes directly behind snazzy digital screens directly behind the band, and then used the strobes during EVERY SONGS. At times it was difficult to look at the stage for extended periods. It takes some effort to be worse on the eyes than Clockcleaner, who simply left a strobe on for their whole set, and whose singer brandished an aluminum bat and asked the audience why they weren't dancing, and yet Ladytron did it.


B.Graham said...

Coming away from a show in which I loved the opener most leaves me with mixed feelings... because on the one hand, you go underdog band! But on the other hand... it would have been nice to have paid for a TOTALLY good show.

ali d said...

From the picture, I agree whole-heartedly with your Bob Dylan reference.

Also, coincidentally, I read this TFD comic last night: