The Ladytron/Simian/Mount Sims caravan rolled into San Francisco on Friday for their stop at Bimbo's 365 Club. As it was The Tron's first live appearance in the City By The Bay, electroclash fans and hipsters alike were excited for their first chance to catch the icy-cool quartet in action, and they would not leave disappointed.
Ladytron's Emperor Norton label mate Mount Sims kicked off the festivities with his own 2003 take on '80s synth and electro beats. Joined on stage by two scantily-clad dancing lady friends, Mount Sims, a.k.a. ex-Wisconsin resident Matt Sims, went through the motions, running the show off his laptop and singing through a boom mic, while the girls did their choreographed movements, that at points included props such as donuts and a guy dressed up as a human speaker. Interesting to watch, but not exactly the future of music.
It was now time for the filling on this electroclash sandwich, Simian. Although their presence between two synth-driven acts didn't exactly make sense, it did act some texture to the night. The quartet from Manchester worked through tracks from both their 2002 gem, We Are Your Friends, as well as their 2001 debut, Chemistry Is What We Are. "Never Be Alone," "Sunshine" and "La Breeze" stood out above the rest as the show crescendoed with an almost hippy-esque, tribal drum banging by three of the four members. This was turning out to be a strange night, indeed.
Finally, the 4-piece from Liverpool took the stage, their number augmented by a live bassist and live drums. This fleshed out their sound considerably and added a touch of humanity to their Orwellian sound. Much had been made of Mira Aroyo's lack of signing prowess, but on these evening there were no flaws. Ladytron's 2000 version of the Logan Run soundtrack was stellar on this evening, with "Seventeen," "Blue Jeans" and "Playgirl" especially sparkling. The best song of the night, however, may have been the very last, a glowing cover of Tweet's "Oops (Oh My)," the synth-heavy, stark vocal rendition shining brightly on the evening. It was worth all the wait.