Ladytron, The Faint @ Metro, Chicago

Back in April, I finally got the chance to see one of my favorite electronic bands Live in Concert. I'm not sure why Ladytron were on tour, but they came through Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago.


Ladytron has 4 members and originated in Europe (somewhere) in 1999. They are somewhat hard to place because of some of their lyrics are in English, while others are not. I always thought it sounded like Russian, but it's not.. It's not German either.. Wikipedia indicates Bulgarian.

I started listening to them somewhat by chance. They'd been recommended to me a couple times, but it wasn't until I came across their CD in Exclusive Company (now out of business) that I decided that today was the day! (Actually, that was only 3 years ago..) One by one, I picked up each of their CDs and began listening to them more and more.

In the beginning their songs are pretty girly. Most of the lyrics were about boys or other emo topics. One song seems directly inspired by lead singer Helen Marnie's brief career as a fashion model. "They only want you when you're 17. When you're 21, you're no fun."

By 2003, with their release of Softcore Jukebox, I think they grew out of the emo mentality and started branching out with their music. They tooked some risks and made some fun songs. ^_^

After that, Witching Hour and Velocifero were a definite return to their iconic electronic pop sound. They've had some fantastic songs, but I think they rely on that sound a little too much. I'd love for them to do another release on the lines of Softcore Jukebox.

One of my friends commented, "It's good to see a band steer away from emo lyrics. I think most bands tend to start off strong and then go emo."

Ladytron Live

My copies of 604 (their first album) and Light & Magic (their second album) were actually re-releases that contained Live versions of their most popular songs. This is the part of the CD I generally skip over because the levels are all weird and you can't hear the flange of the synthesizer pulling together the bass.

Unfortunately, this "problem" wasn't with the recording... When Ladytron took the stage, it sounded like their levels were way off. It sounded very amateur grunge (or whatever) without the omnipresent bass. After a couple songs, I totally got into the event, but I think that was because I damaged my ears enough that everything blended together.

They played all of their iconic songs.. Ghosts, Runaway, Sugar, Seventeen, Destroy Everything You Touch, The Way That I Found You.. It was fantastic to actually hear a band live and know all the songs for a change. ^_^

Afterwards, they were downstairs in Smartbar spinning records, but I pulled the old man thing and complained about my legs killing me and how all the kids in the venue are stupid. So we left.

But before that...

The Faint

The Faint were pretty rockin'. Prior to this engagement, I'd not heard of them. So I didn't really pay close attention to them when they got up on stage, but throughout their set they won me over. Not enough to actually buy their music, but enough to enjoy their performance a whole lot. Their synthesized sounds mixed perfectly with their instrumental sounds. ^_^

The combination of The Faint and Ladytron made this night fantastic. It sucks that we wussed out on their DJ sets, though, but oh well. I'll visit Smartbar one of these days.

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