Friday, May 29, 2009

Upfront ft. Ratatat: A Junk Music Project @ Zouk 28.5.09

On record, Ratatat's unique brand of guitar based electronic synth fest is amazingly electrifying. After watching their live performance, they certainly lived up to that and did not disappoint.

The show kicked off much later than it should be, typical local timing. Around half past 9, the lights dimmed and one word was emblazoned on the projector screen: RATATAT. The crowd response was deafening. Mike Stroud and Evan Mast wasted no time in getting the party started with the tinkering sound of LP3's opener "Shiller". The New York duo did what they do best. Thriving on the enthusiasm of the fans, Ratatat impressed everyone with their layered, structured combo of guitar + synth music perfection. Heart pounding beats and distorted guitar riffs shook the room, with random video footage like multiplying bird heads and distorted version of Paul Simon's You Can Call Me Al with Chevy Chase and fire everywhere being played from the projector to accompany the music. On another note, Stroud is an incredible guitarist to watch, expressing his showmanship as he used every square inch of the stage to dance, jump or bend over backwards.

Much of “Classics” made an appearance, with “Lex” and “Wildcat” being obvious crowd pleasers. There is nothing lack from their latest album, “LP3” as well, which includes the Spanish-flavoured psychedelic "Mi Viejo", "Falcon Jab" and "Flynn". The electronic drum clutter of "Shempi" is one of many highlights. Starting off with the eerie bleeps and distorted guitar effect, the track definitely brought the excitement out of the crowd. Stopping for a sip of beer, Stroud made sure that what didn’t stop was the constant beat, feverishly banging on the bongos after that, with Mast pouding on the tom to bring the set to a climactic end before leaving the stage.

The crowd stayed on anticipating an encore, with the notion that a Ratatat's gig would not be complete without their best known hit 'Seventeen Years'. I even spotted two more songs - 'Bruleé' and the afromentioned hit from the set list, so I presumed the band would come back for an encore to please the punters who were seen chanting 'Seventeen Years' whole-heartedly. When the light was up and the band came out to plead for the crowd to leave, I could taste a horrendous taste of regrets hanging in my throat. Apparently, the band had to cut it short to give way for a notorious 'Gaga' event that took place in the same venue later. It is such a norm to put the mainstream regulars ahead from the minority indie kids that I have no qualm anymore. A word or two to the organiser though, why left us waiting for an hour and half without any opening act where they could have called for the gig to start earlier? They could have estimated the time length of the set to schedule an earlier starting time to avoid the massive anticlimax that took place.

Despite the flaw, the band pulled off a solid show. A decent live act indeed. Good effort from the local organiser for bringing in such amazing band and we definitely hope more follow suit in the near future.

Ratatat - Seventeen Years
Ratatat - Bruleé

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Anonymous John said...

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8:22 PM  
Blogger Abe said...

Bummer about missing the encore. I saw them in San Fran and they came back out two play both songs and completely tore shit up. I'm glad they played a lot off Classics because I think LP3 lacked the same amount of punch. Regardless, I still love them.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous dave said...

They are definitely much better live...their albums do not do them justice.
I've watched them with a 3rd person accompanying with the keyboards and it adds a lot more to the show.

1:46 PM  
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