|Photos by Craig Hlavaty|
Monday night's boozed-out Ladytron/the Faint dancestravaganza at Warehouse Live was like stepping into a time machine back to 2002; a simpler era without a war, Miley/Hannah personality crises or the imminent threat of getting laid off and having to sell pencils on the street to pay for iPhone apps. The only sad part is that what was coming from the stage hasn't changed since before the Twin Towers were still standing.
This isn't to say that what Ladytron and the Faint have doing now for lo these many years is without a hook or a heartbeat. It's just that their fans have not let them leave that state of play. But in the Electro Class of 2002, and a genre that never went quite as massive as promised, they are still incredibly vital.
The Faint has seemingly been touring behind breakthrough Danse Macabre
since its release in August 2001. Even after two full albums of newer more expansive material and a handful of innovative singles, people keep coming back to Danse
, discarding newer material while they wait for club anthems "Agenda Suicide" or "Posed to Death."
Fans robotically shimmied to cuts from last year's Fasciinatiion
and 2004's neglected Wet From Birth
, like if they didn't the Nebraska electro boys would retalitate by depriving them of "Total Job." This was an all-ages crowd, with most weaned on the Faint during innumerable Numbers dance nights, where the Faint plays like Bruce Springsteen at a New Jersey roadhouse. They are crazy beloved, if only for a small segment of their output, with the rest being politely discarded.
Where The Faint has strived to evolve despite its fanbase, Liverpool's Ladytron has settled into a tight career groove, with little deviation between albums or image. Making a slight arc only in style, but never in substance, Ladytron has steadily evolved from an austere Yazoo- and Berlin-riffing electro group into a sort of slinky Gen-Y My Bloody Valentine. Last year's Velocifero
is actually an incredibly sexy album, oozing filth and glitter like a high-class escort.
"Ghosts" is bathed in aural shadow and the sort of cascading synths that would make MBV maven Kevin Shields wet himself. The crowd became one sweaty heaving mass during old standards like "Seventeen" and the new "Runaway." One thing Ladytron has always succeeded at is being a mild aphrodisiac for crowds of lusty drunken party people.
"True Mathematics," from 2002's Light And Magic
, is the first cousin of the Normal's 1978 classic "Warm Leatherette" if not its illegitimate sibling. So much so that upon repeated listening of both back-to-back, the only real difference between them is Normal voice Daniel Miller's Peter Murphy-ripping vocals. The song was greeted with a whoop and holler and the floor at Warehouse Live got ever stickier.
If these two bands have showed us anything Monday, besides giving us a good Friday night liver-whipping on a droll Monday night, is that if something ain't broke, don't fix it.