The Faint w/ Ladytron and The Crocodiles – [Live]

Saturday, 13 June 2009

I arrived a little late to the Fillmore and my ears perked: The Crocodiles were playing. I caught the last two songs of this opening band for the Faint and they were great. Sole band members, Charles Rowland and Brandon Welchez, along with a drum machine tore through the remaining two songs of their set. I’m really partial to the whole Jesus and Mary Chain/Spacemen 3 (with a new wave twist) sound that the Crocodiles are dialed into, so it was a great way to start the evening.
Next up was Ladytron. Let me just say that I’ve seen them at least six times since the release of their debut album 604, and they never let me down. The band could have taken the easy route and stuck with the electroclash trend that was hot a few years and rested on their laurels. But this is a prime example of a band that changes and grows, expanding in different directions by adding live drums, guitars and more rocking songs (rather than the dance types indicative of previous years). Yet they keep rooted in their electro space, and this is what makes them unique.
Ladytron hit the stage with Mira Aroyo singing “Black Cat,” and followed that with “Runaway.” Their stage was cool and minimal; with three vertical banks of LED lights that exuded an up-to-date electro-disco vibe. As is Ladytron’s style, and more specifically Helen Marnie’s stylish presence, they banged through their set with such crowd pleasers as ‘”Ghosts,” “17,” “I’m Not Scared,” and “Soft Power—essentially hitting the high points of their catalogue. Both Ruben Wu and Daniel Hunt kept the backbone of the group in rocking form. The latter part of the set got the crowd jumping and singing along to “International Dateline,” “Tomorrow,” and the anthem “Destroy Everything you Touch” which really sent the crowd into an electro frenzy.
Omaha’s The Faint headlined the evening. I saw The Faint the last time they came through San Francisco and thought they put on a fantastic show. They started their set with the lively “Mirror Error,” which got the crowd riled up and dancing. This is one of the most energetic bands one can see live. They have an unlimited amount of energy, which complements their music and makes for a great show. One of my favorite songs, “Dropkick,” really got the crowd going with front man Todd Fink moving frantically around the stage and keyboardist Jacob Thiele giving the ivories a good thrashing; all the while bassist Joel Peterson gave San Francisco everything he’s got. The Faint’s angular, new-wave-punkish style transcended through crowd pleasers such as the electro-voiced “The Conductor” and the driving beats of “Psycho.” “Machine in the Ghost” was the highpoint of the evening as the band really made the song stand out. After a brief break, they returned to the stage for an encore with “The Geeks Were Right,” “Glass Danse” and “I Disappear,” none of which disappointed.
All in all, three great bands, one great evening.  


Related Articles:
The Faint w/ Shy Child and Glass Candy – [Live]

The Faint – “The Geeks were Right (Does It Offend You, Yeah? Remix)” – [mp3]

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