I’ve been into Ratatat for a while. I actually first heard them on NPR–not All Songs Considered, strangely enough, just as transition music the first time–and in one of those odd coincidences a friend put “Seventeen Years” on a mix for me just as I was thinking I should maybe buy some of their stuff.
Time passed, and I bought all of their albums that I could find (Mixtapes vol. I still eludes me), and I even tried to go see them last year but waited too long and the show was sold out. So when I heard they were coming back to Boston, I decided to get tickets and hoped I’d convince someone to go with me.
That someone turned out to be Sig Fig, and thank goodness–it turned out to be the best show I’ve ever seen. Hands down.
The first act started out with two guys coming onstage wearing sunglasses and bags over their faces. (For all but the first number it was only one guy, and I was pretty sure he went by p*rock, but the website for the Paradise is currently listing him as e*rock. So who knows.) I imagine the intention was something along the lines of “I am doing really extremely cool things with electronic media and I want you to pay attention to that instead of me,” but the effect was more like “I’m kind of a pasty skinny nerd, and I’d like you to ignore that.” We’re all nerds too, guy. Just own it.
Next up was Panther. I don’t really like to bash lesser-known groups, so let me just say that these two guys seem to really like each other and enjoy touring.
And then, the awesome started.
If you’ve heard Ratatat’s studio stuff (you should. You really should.) you’ve probably thought, “Oh, these guys are really good, but I bet there’s no way they’re this polished live. In fact, how would they even do this live? I bet like ninety percent of this is just crazy electronic stuff anyway.”
You would be wrong.
The word we kept coming back to was “tight.” These are insanely tight guitarists. Yes, they do loop in some pre-recorded stuff, but the vast majority of the awesome guitar work? Yeah, they do that live. And it’s better. I wouldn’t have imagined that it could be any cooler than it is on their albums, but oh my, was I ever totally wrong.
At this point I run the risk of just sounding really dreamy-eyed, so I’ll just stop and say you should buy everything Ratatat has ever recorded, and then go see them live. A lot.