Ladytron & CSS @ the Meridian, 10.22.06

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Last night’s show was atThe Meridian, a downtown venue across I-59. Large dancefloor, expensive drinks, good sound, no complaints.

CSS opened and have honed their live sound considerably since July. (Though they played exactly the same set.) Before, they seemed to lean on a punk-rock exhuberance and went a bit strong on the nasty guitar sound. Last night saw them sounding loads more balanced, a lot closer to the sound of the album, but a bit punchier and still nicely guitar-heavy. Lovefoxx was in particular form - spouting non sequiturs and random jabber before, in between, and during the songs - sometimes taking the form of directives to the audience. “You go get a drink!” “Everybody needs to shave! I am very hairy right now!”

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The crowd was fairly responsive to CSS, even some of those who had been spotted by yours truly while waiting in line saying, “the opener is… CSS… whatever that is.” (In fact that particular person was so enthusiastic they ruined at least several good photos with her big fat arm. Ahem.) But there was definitely no question as to who the mass of black-clad bodies had come for. Ladytron go on to screams and hollers, and in return had a special Houston-arific backdrop during their first number, flashing a big “HELLO HOUSTON” and showing sped up and treated footage of downtown, the skyline and a highway exchange or two. (Lord knows we have plenty.) They played a solid set, injecting some jaggedness and noise into their sometimes overly clean sound, but still keeping it smooth enough to keep the heads bopping.

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Lord knows synthpop can lead to some stilted performer-crowd interactions, but (Martin Gore strike me dead) Ladytron seemed almost warm, thanking the massed trendoids, even commenting on the great reception they’ve gotten in Tejas in general and Houston in particular. They certainly didn’t hold back for the encore - they must’ve been off stage for a minute at most (no bong hits for this lot) - when they popped back in and delivered ass-kicking versions of “Send Me A Postcard,” “The Last One Standing,” and an eagerly-awaited (by me at least) “Destroy Everything You Touch.” All told, an excellent reminder of how great this band can be when they’re on - a fact I’m too often neglectful of. Well, no more sir!

October 23, 2006. Uncategorized. No Comments.

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