Ladytron at the Paradise, June 30, 2008
Star Trek chic would be a fitting label for the black uniforms donned by Helen Marnie and Mira Aroyo on stage Monday at the Paradise. And though they probably didn’t mean to, that choice fit the ambiance as well. Not once but twice I scrawled “I’m living in anime” in my notebook (visible in the dark thanks to a glow-stick bracelet I borrowed for the occasion). New-wavish bands do have a venerable tradition of borrowing from sci-fi fashion, but I suspect Ladytron’s alien aura had more to do with their velvety, metallic enticements-to-boogie and stone-faced delivery. Besides, Marnie’s bob hairstyle makes her a ringer for David Bowie.
Ladytron of Liverpool were ubiquitously and irritatingly trendy three years ago, as were many synthed-out post-retro outfits. In those days, everybody’s gay roommate had the statutory-rape lamentation “Seventeen” on repeat, but time colors all, and now I’m comfortable enough with both my sexuality and my hipster self-loathing to assert that Ladytron’s Boston set, the last on their world tour’s US leg, was a blast.
In front of a giant blinking Lite Brite–type device a multi-machine onslaught of visceral sonics commenced. No joke. If you stood close to the stage, your torso bones rattled along with the backbeat. Cuts off their new Velocifero (Nettwerk), such as the ominous “Deep Blue,” were tactfully arranged alongside old good-’uns like “International Dateline.” Live instruments appeared, to my mild surprise, but you had to be paying close attention to notice them. Non-vocalist band members remained shadowy behind a horde of keys and synths. It was only by chance that I spotted the live drummer.
Packed to the gills as the joint was, suitable room to bomp was lacking. Regardless, by the encore coup de grâce, “Destroy Everything You Touch,” I was executing a hitherto unknown dance step — a two-step/tap-dance/aneurysm combo I shouldn’t do again.
As for Norwegian-export openers Datarock, they were, in their matching sweatsuits and oversized square sunglasses, the embodiment of that tongue-in-cheek Euro-trashy “dance” bullshit that drives me batty. Then again, I retreated to the bar after two songs, and that precluded any chance of their getting a fair review. I blame the outfits.
: Live Reviews
, Paradise Rock Club, Ladytron, Ladytron, More