LADYTRON with CSS at the Guvernment, October 2. Tickets: $25. Attendance: 1,100. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNNN
Ladytron are notoriously diffi cult to engage with.
Their sub-zero personas and blasé demeanour make you self-conscious about having a good time. They shun between-song banter and stare indifferently at the ceiling while playing.
That's just how these femme-bots and Lady-boys roll. Fortunately, they've got some great songs, or they'd probably be out of a job by now.
Ladytron death-marched onstage for their headlining set and immediately cut into High Rise. Under a flood of cool blue neon and flashing ambulance red, lead singer Helena Marnie captivated her worshippers with her icy Scottish stare and robo-delivery.
Dressed as though they'd raided Stevie Nicks's closet, both Marnie and Mira Arroyo worked their Korg keyboards (affectionately labelled Babylon and Cleopatra),while Rueben Wu and Daniel Hunt did the same. Hunt intermittently strapped on a guitar.
Ladytron's live rhythm adds significantly to an already dense sound from all the inorganic instrumentation.
They ended with Destroy Everything You Touch, a showstopper that made Marnie's and Aroyo's blank expressions actually thaw into smiles.
Oh, maybe that was cuz Lovefoxxx was crowd-surfing in the audience.
She's the lead lungs of Brazilian electro-rock babes and openers CSS. Cansei de Ser Sexy might as well be from another planet, a planet where Japanese/Brazilian lead singers named Lovefoxxx dance like teenage girls alone in their bedrooms, wearing leopard-print tights and T-shirts that read "Other People's Money."
The ladies (and one dude) of CSS were brimming with the exuberance that comes from doing everything for the first time: playing new cities and bigger shows with more fans and having the time of their lives.
Lovefoxxx stole the show, which consisted exclusively of material from their self-titled Sub Pop debut. Bouncing around the stage like it was a playground, she jumped on the PA speakers, climbed into the perimeter gap and bravely surfed into the ready hands of the male-centric front rows.
CSS are still raw and loose (July's T.O. show was their second-ever in North America), which will change with more touring. As their musicianship and Lovefoxxx's English improve, it's exciting to imagine where their unpredictable rock will go.