Laissez-Faire | In Love & Free Trade


Stereolab, Monade, Le Loup @ Irving Plaza
October 8, 2008, 8:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

stereolab

Photo: Stereolab

Stereolab was the ticket in town this past week for three back-to-back shows (Oct 2-4) headlining at Irving Plaza. Saturday’s show, openers by Monade (who share Stereolab’s lead) and Le Loup, was unsurprisingly tight. While the live sounds of some bands can be a somewhat perverse variation of their recorded versions, the clarity of Laetitia Sadier’s ambient voice was perfect. “French Disko”, pulsing with prolonged strobe lighting, was met with unison head-bopping from the ground floor for a psychedelic effect. Equally intense was an ecstatic fan towards the middle of the crowd who throughout the show continuously fist pumped and head banged just a bit harder than everyone else – as if it was Woodstock or, perhaps, Wolfmother. Though the set list changed per night, Stereolab also performed the catchy “Three Women” – a song that was oddly not on Saturday’s official set list.

Stereolab’s appearance in New York was also the first with the band’s new keyboardist, Julien Gasc, who visually stood out on stage not just for his youthful good looks but also the basic fact that he wore a yellow graphic tee against the subdued attire of his bandmates. I had the pleasure of dining with Gasc prior to the show at a nearby sushi restaurant, joined by April March’s Elinor Baker (her song “Chick Habit” was featured in Tarantino’s “Death Proof”). Gasc, also of the group Aquaserge, had a heavy French accent that was every Francophile groupie’s dream, while Baker among varied things spoke of her three children – which I thought was a surreal concept for an unabashed pop siren.

At the venue Gasc went for a smoke break before the show. Mistakenly, he had a drink in hand while leaving approaching the door to outside and was confronted by security. The possibilities were that he would either have to surrender the beer or the bud. Gasc did neither. Consequently, the security guard moved towards Gasc, who retreated backward, then led us past the entrance towards the back of the venue. Neither of us knew where we were going. Would he be reprimanded? We ended up at a short hall where one had to bend over to enter. The guard opened the door, which led to a private courtyard where Gasc could smoke – with booze in hand. In the scheme of rock ‘n roll’s little luxuries, what a way to have your cake.

Stereolab’s original set list (Oct. 4):

Percolator
Valley Hi
Eye Volcano
Mountain
Chemical
2 Finger Symph
Ping Pong
Double Rocker
Ecstatic
Lo Boob
Silver Sands
Neon Beanbag
French Disko
Emergency Kisses
John Cage

Bump
Cybels
Stomach

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