With a super British team-up like Ladytron and Simian on the road, it was obvious that the fanciest, most fashionable crowd was sure to turn up at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC. Less of a sure thing was the show itself. As neither act has properly toured the US (opting instead to do various DJ/Soundsystem gigs), no one really knew what to expect from either act.
For Simian, the options seemed endless. Which side would shine through in the live setting? Would it be the glistening pop band showcased on their latest effort? Or would it be the rock-infused guitar band showcased on their bouncier tracks? Or would they show off their darker, more experimental, beat-driven electronic side? Unfortunately, it seemed the band couldn't decide either. Neither rocking out, nor lulling the audience into an ambient wave of calm, because of a lack of focus, Simian seemed to have missed the mark in the live setting. With no single style as the thrust of the performance, the audience seemed bewildered by having to choose between watching or dancing. In the end most chose to just ignore them.
Ladytron, on the other hand, came to town with guns blazing. Arming themselves with feeling and emotion(?!), and an almost "raucous" sound, the Liverpool quartet proved that even the coldest keyboard music can be taken to new levels in the live setting. Unbeknownst to all, these robots have feelings! With a heavy low end, and a charged tempo added to every track the band played, the set elicited some movement and even dance moves from the usually less than animated group. But in the end, it was the second encore that brought the house down: imagine these pretty 1984 automatons doing a punk rock version of Tweetís "Oops! (Oh My)." Hard to imagine, but amazing to hear.
Source: Miguel Banuelos, Guest Reviewer