Photos & review by Jennie Book
Ladytron came to August Hall the night of May 12 and enlivened the sold out crowd with their dance pop music mastery. With a stage light show that was beautiful and dramatic to experience and a fun challenge to photograph, the striking visuals lit up the band’s backdrop and splashed a panoply of colors across their bodies as they played a 20 song setlist including “Faces,” “Ghosts,” and “Seventeen.”
Like many great bands throughout history, Ladytron hails from the UK and has been in the business of making great music since 1999. Their lineup of Helen Marnie, Mira Aroyo, Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu changed a few months ago when founding member Wu announced he’d be leaving the band to pursue art and photography full time in the US. Would’ve been fun to shoot the band alongside you in that light the other night to see what you’d have come up with, Reuben.
The August Hall live set included hits from most of the band’s seven albums, which have been inspiring and seminal for many global dance bands, and their song of the year-nominated hit “Destroy Everything You Touch” was a treat to hear performed live at the end of the night. Ladytron is kind of deceptive in how wide-ranging their career has been, from touring with and remixing the biggies (Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails) to being housed at different record companies (Nettwerk, Island, their own imprint), to band member solo careers, to having songs on videogame soundtracks, to performing on “Yo Gabba Gabba.” Also, fun fact: each band member used to name their own synthesizer on tour. Marnie’s was named “Cleopatra,” Mira’s was “Babylon.” Do they still? Drop us a line.
Ladytron fans love Ladytron, and after the other night where those fans were singing and dancing on the floor and in the balcony at August Hall, you’re going to see them around town wearing their love on their sleeves, literally, because from walking into the venue to walking out there was exactly one Ladytron piece of swag left at the merch booth, which was a band-branded canvas shopping bag. So if you still want to get it you better hur– nevermind. Just saw it packed with pasta and Pilsner at Trader Joe’s. But it’s okay, fan, you can still go to their website and get some shirts and share your love with the world.
Blakkat opened for Ladytron and got the crowd working out with some nicely styled EDM, and shook the cobwebs out of the reluctant dancers on the sidelines with a banging rendition of Depeche Mode’s Policy of Truth. An experienced DJ, stoic in appearance while spinning and sipping Liquid Death, he brought the party to the Hall and kicked off the show right.
Ladytron went on to play the Just Like Heaven Festival in Pasadena the evening after this San Francisco show, and continues on tour at festivals through the summer. For up to date information check out www.ladytron.com and make sure to catch them in or near your city for an evening of singing, dancing, dramatic stage light, and canvas bag swag buying.