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.


Anonymous said...

Who cares what you think about the Ratatat show, in fact I didn't even read the whole entry. Sounds like you're some kind of regurgitated by-product of the ipod generation who reads too much pitchfork. How about keeping your uneducated opinions to yourself. Spend some of your time learning some useful skills (Maybe learning about music?) that will help you in life instead of writing blogs that nobody reads.

Anonymous said...

Man THe guy above me Is right! And I was at the show tonight. It was great! who gives a shit if they don't have a lead singer to lead them!! They still were incredible!

Anonymous said...

I saw them in LA with Daft Punk and they were amazing. Saw them a couple months ago at the Echoplex and the venue was horrific to the point where it almost ruined the music. I still bought tickets to tomorrow and Wednesday's shows at the Music Box.

Sadly though, after researching through reviews, it looks like they are playing the same set every night. Brulee opener, Seventeen Years encore. I was really hoping such great musicians could change it up night to night. Don't they get bored?

Hope they prove me wrong.

You two anonymous dudes above need to calm down though. That's right. Calm down. This blogger was just giving his review. If a mildly disappointed review of something you love enrages you, here's a tip, drop out of junior high now.