As published by LA RECORD:
Photo: Tim Drummond
Club Nokia is a terrible place to get to early. The bar is expensive as hell and the shows always start late, but in order to ensure entrance to the pit area in front of the stage you have to be one of the first few hundred in to get a special wristband. Opt for the VIP pass so you can grab a seat on the balcony through the openers…or wear comfortable shoes. Continue reading
Photo by Tim Drummond
As published by LA Record:
Having seen New York’s rock-driven electronic powerhouse Ratatat seven times (and counting), I’ve come to expect nothing short of greatness from guitarist Mike Stroud and bassist/synthman Evan Mast. No surprises at this show; the duo delivered their usual rock solid, booty-grinding performance. The Palladium, having recently undergone yet another renovation, is becoming an increasingly annoying venue (bag checks and full-body pat downs, seriously?). Regular concertgoers and press alike were subject to impolite security restricting floor access even to those of us with appropriate wristbands. But if you’re not averse to chatting up heavyset men in yellow jackets, you’ll end up having a good time in front of the stage. Before Ratatat delivered their highly anticipated set, the crowd suffered through the ridiculous white-boy rapping of Despot (“I eat donuts with grown-ups”… wha?) and was growing increasingly impatient during Tussle’s tepid not-so-experimental electronic set, the end of which was droned out by ravenous chants of “RATATAT! RATATAT!” from die-hards on the floor.
Gracing the stage a full half-hour late, the duo proved worth the wait. They started strong with the bombastic “Shiller” off their latest album, LP3, and never let up. The audience was almost as interesting as the show itself—mistaking the Palladium for Coachella Valley, a mysterious dude with an endless supply of water bottles wandered through the crowd squirting liquid into the gaping mouths of people apparently unconcerned with what else might be contained within the free water. Ratatat delivered favorites like “Crips” and “Loud Pipes” from their 2004 self-titled debut, “Wildcat” and “Lex” from their sophomore release Classics, and “Mirando” and “Shempi” from their latest. The set was full of material old and new—“full” being the operative word. My feet were shrieking bloody murder by the end of the looooong hour-and-a-half set, and by the time “17 Years” exploded from the stage, I was ecstatic—not only because it’s my fave Ratatat tune, but because it always signals the end of the show.
As published by LA RECORD:
“Bodies in motion” can best describe the packed house as New York’s energetic electronic/synth instrumental powerhouse Ratatat took over the stage on night two of their double-play at the Henry Fonda. Guitarist Mike Stroud and bassist/synthman Evan Mast have amassed a formidable following over the past few years by driving massive guitar riffs and fuzzy bass lines over synth-based, tape-looped beats. Incrementally adding band members to each tour, an all-time high of four musicians shared the stage, with additional bodies appearing behind drums and extra synths. Once again the lineup included human perpetual motion machine Jacob Morris, whose upper extremities (massive-fro topped head included) have been flailing about with wild intensity throughout entire Ratatat sets the past several tours. The extra manpower on stage added a valuable element to the duo’s already amazing live shows, which only show to profit from the use of real instruments over pre-recorded sounds. The energy of the four musicians seemed to rub off on the crowd, which jumped up and down in a collective human blob up until the very last note, expelling the occasional unified outburst when familiar songs from previous albums such as “Wildcat,” “Lex” and “Loud Pipes” were played. The visual portion of the show included background projections of the music videos for each track, featuring new ones off the band’s fifth, more dance-oriented release (third album proper not counting Ratatat’s two hip-hop remix albums), “LP3.” Notable new videos included “Miranda,” mixing scenes from a hackneyed Schwarzenegger flick with visuals of people catching on fire and exploding and flying hundreds of feet into the air all in perfect synch with the music, and “Flynn” showing the ridiculous Paul Simon 1986 music video “You Can Call Me Al” featuring none other than Chevy Chase.