Earlier on the day of the Ratatat show, I had a conversation that would come back to haunt me later.
Me: I can't imagine people dancing to Ratatat.
H: Yeah, same here. It's like, more chill.
Hah, chill would be the last word to describe the show that New York experienced last night at Terminal 5. From the moment I arrived at the venue, there were some early indications that the night would get a little crazy:
1. People were standing up and chanting "Ratatat" before the first opening act had a sound check.
2. The average age of the crowd was roughly 18, +/- 2 years. Man, I wish I was that cool when I was in high school.
3. Someone was wearing a robo-pig helmet made out of cardboard and plastic pieces. Pig was not a fan of showers.
4. E*Rock, one of the opening acts, wore a burka and aviator sunglasses.
Still, with these signs, I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. When Ratatat hit the stage, the crowd just became violent/insane. I stuck it out for the first couple songs, but after "Mirando," I had to get out of the main stage area. Being 5'2", I quickly realized that the situation could turn very deadly for me. I called it quits when two elbows on either side of me were choking me.
From a safe distance, I could actually focus on enjoying the show. The most entertaining person to watch was the guy on synth/keyboards (Does anyone know who he is?), who is technically not apart of the duo that is Ratatat. I kept on wondering, how is this guy not getting whiplash from violently moving his head up and down to the beat? At times, he looked like he was going to hit his head on his equipment. The other guys were a little more contained and nearly unfazed by the crazy crowd. The set was a heavy on the newest album LP3, which is not surprising, but I personally prefer the older stuff. Ratatat unsurprisingly closed with "Seventeen Years," a crowd favorite and one of their best pieces. Even without any vocals (organic or synthetic), Ratatat's minimalist electro-rock music didn't feel like it was missing anything.
Again, I was reminded of My Old Kentucky Blog's The 10 Commandments of Concert Behavior. Why do people bring bulky backpacks to dance shows? If you think sweaty skin-to-skin contact is disgusting, nylon backpack-to-skin contact is just painful. I don't know what it is, but backpacks love me. While there were a good number of people who were wearing backpacks, it just happened that there was always a backpacker in front of me at all times. Even when I left the main stage area, a bag still found it's way to me. I'm pretty sure that people aren't whipping out their books from their bags to study in between sets, so please do everyone a favor and leave the bags at home.
Next time I go to a show at Terminal 5, I am going to arrive super early so that I can be right in the front. I think that's the only way to survive being in the main stage area.
Past post here. Ratatat is currently on tour in North America.
Wildcat - Ratatat
Mirando - Ratatat