Archive | September, 2010

RATATAT Ramps Up Audience

30 Sep

For a band whose music is almost entirely instrumental, RATATAT puts on a show that makes it immediately apparent to adoring fans that this band must be seen live to truly appreciate its genius.

RATATAT played last Friday at the Fox Theatre in Pomona. With a large projection screen behind the duo playing their corresponding music videos, two smaller holographic projection screens on either sides of the stage, impressive light installments and laser beams (all of which are synced perfectly to the rhythm of each beat) concert goers were able to see their beloved songs come to life.

Multi-instrumentalist/producer Evan Mast and guitarist Mike Stroud play a set with such intense psychedelic images, it rivals the legendary Pink Floyd Laser Spectaculars and trippy acid rock projections of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

The Brooklyn-based ensemble, who refuse to describe their sound, layer explosive guitar rifts, synthesized beats and audio clips for a resulting mix of electronic indie dance rock with an instrumental twist that is uniquely their own.

From the moment RATATAT stepped on stage, the dance floor below the balcony did not stop moving.  Mast and Stroud played several songs off their June released album, Lp4, and closed with their first single from 2002, “Seventeen Years.”

Though the band said little to nothing throughout the entire performance, the stunning visuals told the story behind RATATAT’s melodies. With each changing song, the holographic projection screens boasted rotating images of birds, floating statue heads, baroque-style men playing instruments in white powdered wigs, funky dancers shaking their hips and bouncing gold chains. The music was so loud it reverberated through the entire venue and a trip to the bathroom or bar meant standing in line while your feet vibrated.

The mood completely changed when RATATAT played “Drugs,” while the music video displayed on the projector above them. What started out as an oddly hilarious depiction of wholesome people standing before a backdrop as if they’re about to have their picture taken shifts to a creepy array of faces that seem to be looking right through you. For the attendees whose sobriety was compromised, this segment of the concert probably left them reaching for their friends’ comforting hands, but by the roars of laughter throughout the venue, it seemed to be just another crowd-pleasing moment.

In our current musical age where lip syncing, auto-toned vocals and performances that are more about the artist’s dance moves seem to have become the norm, RATATAT blows fans away with a performance that is better than their recorded albums. How many bands can say that?

Originally published at The Daily Titan

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