Last night I found myself at the Ladytron show after working a 12-hour day mostly on my feet. It wasn’t the first place I wanted to be at the time, but it was something I had never experienced, so I wanted to give it a try. Truth be told, my knowledge of Ladytron is pretty limited. I’m not a lover or a hater, just a guy who has randomly heard some of their music over the years on college radio. It’s not really what I’m into it, but whatever.
I haven’t really been able to say I enjoy electronic music since Prodigy was at their peak. I was in high school (freshman or sophomore) when Fat Of The Land came out, and I played the hell out of that record. It was one of those albums you listen to when you’re driving around that makes you seem a lot cooler than you actually are. My daliance with that ended after about six months, and I never looked back.
One thing I hate about this genre is how cold it can be. Some people are good at making it seem personal, but for the most part it’s this industrial-sounding clanging with the occasional soaring vocal. Ladytron features two singers, and they are both pretty good, but I just haven’t found myself enjoying it. I will say this for the band, whoever the live drummer was did a really good job. That was my favorite part of the show, just watching that guy interacting with the DJ’s and the singers. Tough job, but he did it well.
The show kicked off with two songs from the 2005 album Witching Hour, and the first one sounded pretty bad. The vocals were really flat, and Helen Marnie kept looking over like maybe she couldn’t hear herself and needed the sound guy to turn up her monitor. It got a little better with the second song, “International Date Line.” After that they played “Mirage” off their new record Gravity The Seducer. This was my favorite song of the set. The vocals sounded like they should, and the mix was a lot better. However, the light show going on behind them was so annoying that I had to look away.
After those first few songs we moved toward the back to get away from the lights, but the music never got any better. After the fourth song everything kind of sounded the same. There seems to be a certain formula that Ladytron songs follow. That’s fine if you dig the formula, and it appears that a lot of people do, but I just don’t. I was also a little let down that more people weren’t dancing in full force. There was a lot of head nodding and toe tapping, but nothing fun.
Ladytron, and electronic music in general, seems better suited for the car or home than a big show with a few hundred people milling about. In my case, it may be better to just avoid it all together. Seek it out and make your own informed decision of course. Perhaps you all enjoy this more than I do. Maybe I’m just too old for this shit.