Ladytron returned to Dublin last Saturday to play yet another gig in Tripod. The venue seems to be the bands favourite destination on their Irish visits as every time they come over it’s the only venue they play. While the nights show didn’t sell out, there was still a healthy crowd assembled and waiting patiently as the support act raced through their set.
The crowd seemed very relaxed and calm and when the Liverpudlian quartet made a decidedly low-key entrance to herald their arrival onstage. ‘Runaway’ opened the show and ‘High rise’ and ‘Ghosts’ quickly, “International Dateline’ and ‘Soft Power’ from ‘The Witching hour’ album got an airing before their first interaction with the crowd.
Despite the band rolling out the crowd pleasers the atmosphere seemed a little lacking. The sound quality wasn’t the best and at times it was difficult to hear singer Helen Marnie unless you were very close to the stage. Even the band themselves didn’t seem very enthusiastic and their body language suggested that they really didn’t give a damn about the gig. There was no real interaction with the crowd, no excitement, and that attitude transmitted to the crowd. For the most part, the onlookers remain motionless and greeted the conclusion of each song with polite applause and some half-hearted cheers. Save for a few die hard fans at the front no one really paid much attention to the song changes and no real emotion was shown.
There was a brief respite from all of this however when the band played their biggest hit ‘Seventeen’, which, in spite of everything, sounded quite good and really got the crowd moving. It was the last song of the set and it was a shame it took them 12 songs to get the crowd going, if only briefly, before they left the stage. An encore was given, consisting of ‘White elephant’, ‘Playgirl’ and ‘Destroy everything you touch’, but the magic was gone and the band returned to a pitiful fanfare.
The set was around the hour mark and seemed to leave fans a little disappointed. They had many more gems they could have wheeled out but it just seemed that their hearts weren’t in it. It was hard to tell the difference in the atmosphere after they had departed as it was much the same as it had been during the gig. It’s hard to shake the feeling that we’ve been cheated, both with the miserly length of their set and the manner in which they approached it. I hope that on their imminent next visit to promote their new album ‘Gravity the seducer’ due out later this year, that they try a lot harder, bring back the magic, and remind us why we fell in love with them in the first place. I hope that the night was merely a lapse in their genius and not a sign of things to come.