Ratatat at The Hi-Fi
Ratatat are an interesting phenomenon: there are only two of them, no vocals, about 20 different instruments on stage, they rarely receive radio play and are responsible for the two of the best hip hop remix compilations of recent times. Since touring in Australia, they have gone from Ding Dong Lounge, to The Espy, to The Corner Hotel and finally, they've most recently sold out The Hi-Fi as a Big Day Out sideshow. It's quite beautiful to watch and certainly feels good to be a part of the Ratatat movement.
It's only Monday evening but The Hi-Fi is abuzz with anticipation to see this crazy duo. As usual at The Hi-Fi, it doesn't take long for the beer in hand to go from out-of-the-fridge-freezing to unbearably lukewarm - all of the bodily fluids my amigos and I had tried desperately to replace after the tortuous but amazing Big Day Out were quickly being expelled again in the sauna-like atmosphere. It was hot, basically. Fucking hot.
However, this was quickly forgotten when Ratatat emerged on stage (30-odd minutes late, mind you) and launched into their set. A new addition to their live show is two six-feet-tall pieces of perspex plastic on either side of the stage with strange images coming on and off, complementing the slideshow going over the band. Loud Pipes was dropped fairly early which got everyone very excited, and new gem Drugs was insane. For a Monday evening, the crowd was going mental and Mike Stroud and Evan Mast were clearly enjoying themselves.
It's amazing seeing a crowd respond the first few bars of a song when there are no lyrics, just endlessly amazing pieces of musical genius. However, it is hard sometimes not to think 'What if these guys had a singer of some sort?' It may be something to consider a little while down the track; four albums in now it might be worth some kind of shake-up. That said, their latest offering, LP4, contains some of their best work to date.
After an encore that featured 17 Years and an hour-and-a-half set, the crowd wanted more, chanting 'RATATAT!' It was amazing to see. There was no more, however, and the sweaty crowd begun to disperse wondering where five kilograms of body weight had just gone.
Loved: The whole fucking set. Seeing these guys once every two years is a gift.
Hated: It was the day after Big Day Out. I was battling.
Drank: One Carlsberg. I was battling.