Tuesday, March 27, 2007
ratatat concert: mildy disappointing
so, I just got back from seeing Ratatat play up in NE Portland at the Wonder Ballroom. And my impressions? I like the band's music quite a bit, but the live performance did nothing for me.
Here's the thing: pumping through iTunes on my computer, Ratatat's audio aesthetic - NES meets alternative/punk rock - is awesome. The music itself is very good and the two guys who form the band are obviously good musicians.
However, good musicians does not a good live show make, and though this has to do a fair bit with what I feel makes a good live show, I felt no drama and was not really that compelled to move by the music. I certainly was probably alone, as the fairly crowded ballroom definitely got some good pogo action in a couple times, but thinking long and hard about this at the show, I've figured a couple things out.
It wasn't rock enough to be a good rock show, and not electronic enough to be a cool club DJ-style dance party. While that middle ground works for just one-to-one listening, or even parties or something, it doesn't work well as a live performance. Without the drama and bombast of a lead singer, songs aren't very well differentiated and there's little to grasp onto as a fan at a live show; the only thing you could get out of it is punk-style catharsis, but that's a stretch here.
However, as an electronic band, they're not techno-y enough to really stand on their own and make you want to dance. So within the already awkward world of indie music, you have an even odder band performing, and things just don't go so well.
This is not to say the band is not worth listening to; quite the contrary. It just means that you're not going to get a life-changing live show.