Friday, April 10, 2009

The Faint and Ladytron.

As my previous entries have stated, I attended the dual headlining show for Ladytron and The Faint at Webster Hall on Friday night... The details are muddled to me now, mainly because I got ABSURDLY hammered off of delicious Sangria at a little restaurant called La Paella on E. 9th Street only moments before we entered Webster Hall. I'm amazed I managed to take that picture above and that it is only slightly blurry, but I digress... We got to Webster Hall slowly, sloppily, and without any sense of urgency. This pleased me, not just because I was inebriated, but because it is keeping up with one of my 2009 concert going resolutions, that "I will attempt to NOT be so anal retentive and stressed out when it comes to arriving to shows." BUT I DIGRESS AGAIN. There's a reason for all these tangents... I'm sorry to say this, but... the show was lack luster. I was wholly unimpressed. I am a VERY enthusiastic concert goer. More often than not, I am told that I am an easy to please critic, and that my entries come off more as "the ramblings of a soccer mom" than the stereo typical embittered music fan. It's a title I find myself happy with, despite my "dark" appearances, but there's a reason for my enthusiasm. I will be energetic and positive about the show, as long as that enthusiasm is equal to or slightly less than that of the band on stage. The show can only be as good as the people performing it. Fans can only do so much.

We got into Webster Hall whilst the opening act was still on. The crowd was sparse, so we managed to finagle some rather awesome seats (aka hoisted our asses up next to the speakers on the right, at the FRONT of the stage), a GA show became seated! Victory!! WHAT a good start!

The Faint came on swiftly and VERY efficiently. Without any reservations, they proceeded to MELT OUR FACES with raw energy and some killer ass thumpin' grooves. I found myself nodding my head in a zombified state, dancing in place, and when I DID take a break to look up at the rest of the world, I found that I was not alone. Everyone on the floor was moving. Every person in there was thrilled to be there and were having a GREAT time. More importantly, the FAINT were having fun up on that stage. Their energy was palpable and the crowd responded incredibly well to it. It made myself and my concert bud Brian instant fans. The keyboardist in particular was in rare form. I haven't seen someone standing behind a stationary instrument seem so alive in QUITE a while. The entire band was full of a vibrant and infectious energy... the whole room seemed to buzz with it. I'm happy to say that the keyboardist wasn't alone up there in energy level, why, the lead singer bounced around so much that I couldn't capture a still image of him! The music was the perfect marriage of post-new wave rock pop, with a smattering of my ever reliable industrial sentiments. The sound was FULL, complex, and interesting- which with as many people as there were on that stage can some times be hard to do. On a side note, the people around me were pleasant and accommodating during the Faint's set DESPITE the somewhat aggressive yet dance-able music.

Now, I am sure you are saying to yourself, "Wait, Madame K said the show was lack luster... I ain't reading anything even remotely lack luster about the Faint." WELL, you won't hear any bad reviews of the Faint... Ladytron, however, is another story all together. The contrast between these two groups were incredibly obvious. The Faint left the stage, as quickly and efficiently as they had entered. The roadies ran about like maniacs preparing the stage for Ladytron... this is when time seemed to slow down to a trickle. The audience was so high from the Faint that they barely noticed- initially... but then the minutes stretched on and on... normally you wait a WHILE between sets for the "headliner"- SURE, but this was a co-headliner show. There were no "frills" to set up. The only real "frill" I picked up on was a rather meticulous roadie taking 15 minutes to tenderly place folded towels and carefully unscrewed water bottles at the feet of the ladies mics! I was irritated before the show even began. I think we can all agree this is NOT a good start. The show FINALLY began about 45 minutes later. And here is how it came off to me:

Ladytron was one of the DULLEST groups I've ever seen perform live. All the members remained frozen in place, barely lifting a finger from their keyboards and sound machines. The crowd became comatose. Sure, we responded when a more popular song came on, but, really, there wasn't anything there for us on stage that we couldn't have gotten listening to our IPODS in the comfort of our home! They took thrashing violent exciting waves of people, and turned them to dull stagnant pools of apathy. The ghostly voices of the Ladies couldn't even be heard over the din of the synthetic music. The ambiance of Ladytron was gunned down and left dead on that stage by their chilly indifference. I found myself nodding not to the music- but TO SLEEP. I wish I could say I got a decent photograph out of it, but they left the stage so intolerably dark that you couldn't even really see the group. I got the sense that they were shy little girls whispering on stage. It reminded me of the Mike Myers Sprockets Sketch- not just because of the all black get-ups... but because of their stillness paired with only the occasional jerky armed thrash-about, and their DEAD PAN seriousness! This image was the only thing that amused me during the entire performance. It's a damn shame, really, because it was shaping up to be a great show. About the only positive thing I CAN say is that Ladytron certainly helped me wind down after such a raw energetic show from the Faint.

I am sad to say am not alone on this sentiment, I was perusing the Brooklyn Vegan (as I am apt to do) and I stumbled across an anonymous poster's commentary from 3/15, with a similar perspective.

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