If I were to list all the bands that I have seen multiple times this year, Great Northern and Ladytron would be near the top of the list. I saw Ladytron a number of times when they opened for Nine Inch Nails on their Spring U.K. tour of 2007. Great Northern has been touring fervently across the States and played a large number of local shows.
Reuben from Ladytron
Ladytron were in the midst of recording their follow up to "Witching Hour" when they received an offer to open for the Pet Shop Boys at the Hollywood Bowl. Unfortunately, the Pet Shop Boys canceled their appearance at the Hollywoood Bowl leaving Ladytron in the cold. This unfortunate event was a boon to Ladytron fans as they announced a few local shows.
Great Northern were up first and I noticed was Solon Bixler (Guitars/Vocals) had traded in his Fender Telecaster for a sleek Gibson Hollowbody guitar. Since I have seen them many times, I would say the guitar change gave the music an overall warmer tone. It also allowed for Solon to easily incorporate feedback swells into the songs. Rachel Stolte (Keyboards/Vocals) and Solon opened their set with the wistful ballad "Just A Dream". Great Northern played a well received set with selections of their album "Trading Twilight For Daylight". They will be embarking on a tour across the states with Robbers On High Street.
I have seen Ladytron many times this year and I never get tired of seeing their live show. I guess part of the excitement of seeing Ladytron is the multiple keyboards on stage as coupled with the soaring voices of Helen Marnie and Mira Aroyo. Their latest album "Witching Hour" features a healthy dose of keyboards, guitars and skillled songwriting. The last time Ladytron stopped by San Diego they played the Belly Up.
I was surprised again in the equipment department as Helen had traded in her Korg MS2000 for a Roland Juno-G. Reuben Wu (Keyboards) was on the side of the stage controlling his Korg MS2000 along with a Korg MS20. Daniel Hunt (Keyboards/Guitar) was showcasing his Roland affair as he played a Juno and a Roland SH-201.
"Soft Power" sounded excellent with Helen extending out her "Aaah" vocal part of the song. Helen told the crowd they only want you when your seventeen before launching into the number named song. "Sugar" sounded different versus the prior times that I have seen them and I would attribute this to some of the Roland keyboard effects added to the song. "Cracked LCD" also sounded different in a good way with various synth bell pad sounds and the usual complementing sultry vocals of Helen and Mira. The encore for the night was an extended version of "Last One Standing" and a dance inciting version of "Destroy Everything You Touch". Their stunning set reminded me of why I drive down to San Diego to catch shows.