A fan kindly wrote…
“…I know you need to go where you must go because that is the “punk” gene in you. I know we may never hear another “World Without Love” or “65 Million Miles…”
Ah but you see, a smile lit up my face when you mentioned songs that are “me” even though they are 13+ years apart. That means I don’t abandon it (synthpop) entirely. In fact, I often visit this club. It is where I dwell, but my quest in life is for a truth I cannot define, and sometimes that leads me to paths not usually undertaken by my synthi pop peers. It’s just the surrealist punk in me. There you are right all the way.
My discovery of Ableton Live, and my recent re-union with my ESQ-1, Juno 62 and Minimoog… Along with some highly strange experimental electronic scientific experiments (yes, you read that right), and my faith in what electronic music is has become strengthened.
I got mad at the scene when it did not allow for change. I felt it focused on ‘style’ over substance. Something I will touch on briefly in my review of Ladytron… Which… Is next.
Last Saturday I took the train from Fullerton to San Diego, which was a thrilling spur of the moment decision and a chance to hang out with Steve in his home town. And Ladytron was playing! So after quite a long day I sat on the train and fell asleep while listening to the new album by Portishead (which is amazing by the way). I woke up a stop before I had to get off. This was oddly familiar, falling asleep on public transportation. I used to do this on the bus…
The club was not to far from the train stop, which was very convenient. I may have to do this again sometime, and it really beats having to park and all that goes with that crap. It’s one of the reasons I shy away from shows these days. But if it involves a train, well. Call me.
The opening band had such charisma that I knew they were going to go over. Data Rock, as they are called, may be described as an 80’s influenced party band, and they really did a great job prepping us up for Ladytron. And that right there is the problem.
When Ladytron took the stage I was a bit envious of all those MS20s on the floor. I thought the stage set-up looked ready for Kraftwerk, and it was even better when their back lighting came on. I cannot remember the entire set but I heard most of my favorites… Seventeen, International Dateline, Destroy Everything, etc.. And the energy of the music was pulsating and very loud, almost what you would expect at a rock show… But the human touch was missing. That was when I regretted not bringing in my cameras. I would have gotten great shots of the band. They looked great!
My only real gripe was that I could see that their audience wanted to move, and were waiting for the band to make the move. They waited to the very end, which was a bit of a shame, but overall I would say it was good. I can imagine though, some people walking to their cars thinking that watching electronic groups is not very entertaining. I wanted to see them do more, emote more. Maybe next time? I’ll give them another shot. I think synthpop is not quite dead yet. It just needs to remember that just because machines are used, it is still a human playing them.
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