Monday, June 09, 2008

Ladytron and Datarock at the Henry Fonda Theater

My synthesizer anticipation was on overload as a trio of synthesizer based bands stopped by the Henry Fonda for a sold out two night stand. Ladytron is supporting their new album Velocifero while Datarock continues to relentlessly tour on their album Datarock Datarock. The inclusion of Modwheelmood made this show a sure bet.


I last caught up with Modwheelmood at the Knitting Factory back in 2006. Modwheelmood has quietly released a couple of well constructed EP's entitled Pearls To Pigs Volumes 1 & 2 with a third volume due out this summer. Modwheelmood consists of Alessandro Cortini (Bass/Vocals) and Pelle Hillstrom (Guitars) with drumming support from Jesper Kristensen. I was surprised to see an absence of synthesizers on stage, but Modwheelmood made up for it with a sharp power trio rock set. Alessandro really cut loose on "Frequency" with a round cutting bass tone from his Fender bass as Pelle added some slashing chords on his Yamaha hollowbody guitar. They closed their all too brief set with "Things Will Change" and received a good ovation from the crowd. Look out for a record review of the three volumes of Pearls To Pigs coming soon.


Datarock wears track suits for a reason. They are one of the hardest working bands out on the tour circuit today. Datarock also puts together such an energetic set that you can't help but sing and cheer along as their energy on stage is infectious. Armed with a Steinberger guitar and bass straight out of the 1980's, Datarock danced through a tight set that covered such tunes as "Computer Camp Love" and "I Used To Dance With My Daddy". Datarock also busted out the dance moves daftly breaking into the "Running Man" during a cheeky version of "Princess". Datarock brought down the house with a burning version of "Fa Fa Fa" that included a saxophone solo, bongos triggered from an electronic drum pad and spaghetti guitar lines played expertly by Fredrik Saroea (Vocals/Guitars). Datarock will be back on the Download festival circuit with M83 and Caribou on July 20th. I also traveled down to the Detroit Bar to catch their DJ set that went on well into the morning as Fredrik kept the party going.


I think Ladytron has the distinction of being one of the most reviewed bands here on Amateur Chemist as I have seen them fourteen times in various capacities. Ladytron is touring behind their new album Velocifero which has grown on me after a number of listens. The album is a refined blend of Witching Hour and 604. The Korg MS-20 is still prominently featured throughout the album and has extra production assistance by Alessandro Cortini.

A wall of lights was setup behind Ladytron as various keyboards were stationed across the stage. The subsonic bass lines of "Black Cat" kicked off their set as Mira Aroyo used her stark voice (Vocals/Keyboards) to give the song an icy chill. One of the reasons I like Ladytron live is they bring all their analog gear and incorporate live drums, bass and guitars to flush out their distinct sound instead of relying on backing tracks. "Runaway" was Helen's turn at the microphone as the synthesizers continued to blare at maximum volume. The new songs had even greater dynamics in the live setting as Reuben Wu (Keyboards) was behind his bookcase of synthesizers tweaking away. "Ghosts" was absolutely haunting with multiple blips and bleeps interspersed into the song.

"I'm Not Scared" was pure electronic bliss as I detected the dark MS-20 filters yet again. The pulsating cowbell sample of "Playgirl" boomed through the speakers as both Helen and Mira entangled their singing voices for a lush version of the song. "Deep Blue" is one of my favorite tracks from the new album and sounded dark and beautiful just like I anticipated. "Last One Standing" got the whole crowd involved in singing along as Daniel Hunt's (Guitars/Keyboards) led the cheering. "Destroy Everything You Touch" was a fitting closer to the night as Ladytron touched the audience.

Ladytron Setlist for the Henry Fonda Theater May 30th 2008
"Black Cat"
"High Rise"
"Blue Jeans"
"I'm Not Scared"
"True Maths"
"Soft Power"
"International Dateline"
"Deep Blue"
"Fighting In Built Up Arenas"
"Last One Standing"
"Burning Up"
"Destroy Everything You Touch"

No comments: