Ratatat @ House of Blues Boston 10.5.10
by Chris Mackintosh (Biochemistry), published October 11th 2010
The stage at a Ratatat show could best be described as a musician’s playground. – two giant white drums, a DJ kit, all kinds of keyboards and synthesizers and array of more obscure toys line the stage for producer/synthesizer/bassist Evan Mast to create some of the most unique sounds I have ever had to pleasure to hear, all while guitarist Mike Stroud shreds on his guitar like the frets are on fire. Beats ranging from simple claps to classic dance grooves meet swirling synth textures, raging guitar solos, and whatever crazy sound Mast decides to add next. They all meet to create Ratatat’s signature rock and roll meets dance party sound. This kind of madness was my expectation for October 5th at the House of Blues, and I was not disappointed.
The show began with a slow, haunting intro that may have run just a bit too long and made me endure plenty of idiots shoving me into the guard rail like the first sardine in the can, but soon enough it exploded into the dance party I was waiting for. The next hour and a half were complete insanity driven by hot beats, wailing guitar licks, and a one of the craziest (and perhaps most unsettling) visualizers I have ever seen, featuring dancing birds, Victorian violinists, intestine-looking creatures and a massive, emblazoned “RATATAT.” Highlights of the show were new single “Drugs” and Ratatat’s classics “Wildcat” and “Seventeen Years,” the latter being the perfect encore and the song I had been dying to hear all day.
Watching Stroud and Mast jam was one of the more interesting shows I’ve seen, and their songs are unique yet varied enough to keep me dancing through their entire set. The crowd, unfortunately, could only be described as obnoxious, but that certainly wasn’t enough to ruin my Tuesday night concert. Overall I rate this concert a 3.9/5, and an excellent way to spend a Tuesday night.