Ladytron, Datarock, Modwheelmood at the Henry Fonda Theater May 29, 2008
Ladytron evokes a cold, ethereal and graceful mood, so how is that I wanted to start a mosh pit all night?
It started with Datarock's set. Seeing the energy they provided on stage and the kids on the floor just bouncing up and down, I just had the urge to push the guy in front of me. You know, for old-time's sake? But then I realized that I'm pushing 30, overworked, fat and absolutely dead tired and it's just unseemly to do that. I'd be like that aging hasher who pisses his pants and regales you with endless stories about how he banged some chick while telling her he was a roadie for Black Sabbath.
Regardless of my primal urges, Datarock was fun. I've never heard them despite other people's complete hardon's about them. They reminded me of a cross between Devo and Placebo, just with matching red sweatsuits and thick Norwegian accents. I think they guy in front of me came when they played "Fa-Fa-Fa". In spite of my stony cynicism, I dug their set and the adolescent nostalgia.
But I wasn't there to see Datarock. J'adore Ladytron!
In a stark contrast to when I last saw them on a chilly October night in 2006 at the John Anson Ford Amphitheater, it was fucking sweltering at the Fonda. Even if I stand under a 10-watt bulb I start sweating like a hog, so you can only imagine how comfortable I felt. But being indoors made their sound fuller and made up for almost dying of dehydration.
Having only had a couple of days with their new album Velocifero, the new songs just didn't resonate all that well. There was nothing wrong with them and they sounded wonderful, but when forced to choose between listening to "Runaway" and "Destroy Everything You Touch" it's not that difficult a decision.
That's why when the third song into the set when the opening sustained note from "High Rise" came on, the entire crowd exploded. "We are on the same high you and I," is exactly right Helen. They would pepper in their older songs with the new, and it just made for a pulsating dance party that culminated in the encore with "Destroy Everything You Touch".
In an interview with the Guardian UK, Mira Aroyo described Ladytron's music as folk music. "Our songs are like fairytales," she said. In the 21st century postmodern, post-rock world their songs are a reclamation of the past, albeit a not-too-distant past of the 1980s. It's a sort of nostalgia of what most of us remember in our collective unconscious. And the coldness and austerity that pervade their music does give a warm feeling.
And that's why I wanted to knock put a couple of teeth in a mosh pit.
Postscript: All apologies to Modwheelmood, but due to the Laker's game I missed most of their set. To atone for this, I bought a couple of their EPs and have really enjoyed them.