Monday, April 20, 2009

Ratatat @ the Palladium 4/4/09


Photo by Tim Drummond


As published by LA Record:



Having seen New York’s rock-driven electronic powerhouse Ratatat seven times (and counting), I’ve come to expect nothing short of greatness from guitarist Mike Stroud and bassist/synthman Evan Mast. No surprises at this show; the duo delivered their usual rock solid, booty-grinding performance. The Palladium, having recently undergone yet another renovation, is becoming an increasingly annoying venue (bag checks and full-body pat downs, seriously?). Regular concertgoers and press alike were subject to impolite security restricting floor access even to those of us with appropriate wristbands. But if you’re not averse to chatting up heavyset men in yellow jackets, you’ll end up having a good time in front of the stage. Before Ratatat delivered their highly anticipated set, the crowd suffered through the ridiculous white-boy rapping of Despot (“I eat donuts with grown-ups”… wha?) and was growing increasingly impatient during Tussle’s tepid not-so-experimental electronic set, the end of which was droned out by ravenous chants of “RATATAT! RATATAT!” from die-hards on the floor.

Gracing the stage a full half-hour late, the duo proved worth the wait. They started strong with the bombastic “Shiller” off their latest album, LP3, and never let up. The audience was almost as interesting as the show itself—mistaking the Palladium for Coachella Valley, a mysterious dude with an endless supply of water bottles wandered through the crowd squirting liquid into the gaping mouths of people apparently unconcerned with what else might be contained within the free water. Ratatat delivered favorites like “Crips” and “Loud Pipes” from their 2004 self-titled debut, “Wildcat” and “Lex” from their sophomore release Classics, and “Mirando” and “Shempi” from their latest. The set was full of material old and new—“full” being the operative word. My feet were shrieking bloody murder by the end of the looooong hour-and-a-half set, and by the time “17 Years” exploded from the stage, I was ecstatic—not only because it’s my fave Ratatat tune, but because it always signals the end of the show.

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