Ladytron | 06.16.08

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live_ladytron_sm.jpgI actually felt as if I had been zapped a lá Jeff Bridges in Tron, into a computer kickin' it with an end-of-the-world dance party program.







w/ Datarock
The Pageant, St. Louis

The mothership Ladytron landed on The Pageant stage in a flurry of flickering strobe lights and bombastic sound, ready to transport the earthlings of St. Louis to planet GloomandBoom. Looking not unlike the Borg from Star Trek in their uniformity, the members of Ladytron wasted no time establishing their iMission to efficiently rock the punters with songs taken from 2005's fantastic The Witching Hour and their latest long player, the equally fantastic Velocifero. Opening with the latter album's kickoff track "Black Cat" and slamming headfirst into "Runaway," stage patter was kept to a minimum as the band successfully kept the gathered sweaty faithful in the palms of their ghost-white hands. Somewhere between the layered synths of Reuben Wu, the ethereal vocals of the lovely Helen Marnie and Mira Aroyo, and the visual assault of what seemed like an arena-sized light show squeezed onto The Pageant stage, I actually felt as if I had been zapped a lá Jeff Bridges in Tron, into a computer kickin' it with an end-of-the-world dance party program. Marnie and the Bulgarian-accented Aroyo traded vocals effortlessly, cutting through the complex shimmering soundscapes and Kraftwerk-via-Human League beats on songs such as "I'm Not Scared," a furious "International Dateline," "Predict A Day" and "Seventeen" from 2002's Light and Magic.

As the show gained momentum and the audience grew increasingly delirious, the members of Ladytron began to come out of their hive a bit and seemed to genuinely appreciate the outpouring of love, even inspiring guitarist Daniel Hunt to say, "We've decided we really like St. Louis." The band made good on that sentiment by performing a focused and biting version of "Without You" and what is probably their finest pop composition yet, the classic "Destroy Everything You Touch."

Opening the show was Datarock, four delightfully kooky electro-punkers from Norway led by visionaries from the edge, Rock Steady Freddy and Ket-ill. Dressed in matching red jumpsuits, Datarock mixed Talking Heads, disco, Devo and cock-rock into a bubbling set that was met with equal parts confusion, dancing, laughter, and wild appreciation. Their infectious and self-deprecating sense of humor—they knelt in rock-honor appreciation for a short, yet very rocking, drum solo—was matched by solid musicianship and mega-charismatic performances. | Jim Ousley

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