Sunday, April 27, 2008

Live : RATATAT in Sydney

As I was cruising around the world wide web the other night, I decided to randomly check out Ratatat's myspace page and see what they were up to. To my surprise, they were playing in Sydney the very next night! There wasn't an option here, I immediately got my hands on some tickets, not caring about cost. I was amazed that I hadn't heard even a whisper of the Essential Festival '08. A day long festival hosted by Myspace, Drumbeat Media (Australia's equivalent to Exclaim! for our Canadian readers) and several others, to showcase rising Australian talent in this new wave indie-rock scene we all seem to know and love.

Before I get into the awesomeness that would ensue, honorable mention goes to Sydney's Grafton Primary. Even though singer Joshua Garden was at times a bit overly eccentric for my liking, they kept up a high energy performance with catchy synth songs. Gotta love that keytar. Next up on props is Bluejuice. I had been loving their 'Vitriol' track for some time beforehand, and the rest of their set did not dissapoint. These boys came out swinging with their upbeat style of indie rock with a little bit of hip-hop thrown into the mix. The harmonies between the two main vocalists combine to form one very stylish single voice.

Ok, now onto my main boys. There was no introduction, there was no explanation, Ratatat simply got on and began to own the stage. The crowd was packed in front of the main stage, but I was also surprised both before and during the show how many Australians were not familiar with the awesomeness that was Ratatat. Needless to say, they are now. This year's festival was apparently the first time an international band was added to the line-up. Did they ever make a great pick. Accompanied by visuals that included everything from abstract images to scenes from 'Predator', the boys performed some of the greatest songs from both albums, as well as a slew of new tracks. There was no time for talk or banter in between songs, not like I had expected it from these guys anyway. They used every minute to cram in as much as they could, leaving the crowd chanting and begging for more. I talked to the guys briefly after the show, curious about what was in the works for them. They were only willing to mention that the Bjork remix was their latest work, but assured me that newer originals were on the way. It's too bad they had to make way for Regurgiator, a fan favorite of Australians for years now, but certainly not of mine. These guys have been around since the early 90's and it shows. Compared to the other great acts of the day, their sound was stale and made me feel like I was 14 again at some pop-punk show, complete with little girls being pulled up on stage by the guitarist. Dude, lame. The majority of the crowd seemed to enjoy it, as many of them seemed to have grown up with the tunes. But to an outsider, it seemed out of place with the new age sound the festival was trying to promote. Check out some of the pictures below and some short clips (sorry they are so's the sound that counts!) of the new tracks, I'm sure people are now getting annoyed by the fact my camera only takes about 20 seconds of footage at a time, I will try to remedy this situation for the Black Kids show this week!

Bluejuice - Vitriol

-Matty B.


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