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November 8, 2010

Early review: La Roux at Rams Head Live

Contributor Christeen Roden reviews the British pop chanteuse's show at Rams Head Live Sunday night. A full review will come later.

It's hard not to have a lot of affection for La Roux. The combination of Elly Jackson's persona (that ginger hair, for starters) and the way the soulfulness of her voice is juxtaposed with the cold, synthetic nature of the duo's music is incredibly endearing. 

But their show Sunday night at Ram's Head left me underwhelmed. Seeing them perform was like listening to the duo's namesake album underwater.

Jackson's powerhouse vocals never shed their trepidation long enough to fill the packed house. Instead, they felt smaller than the already tenuous, if not shrunken, limitations of the album.

And, I'm still not quite sure how to approach the astounding horror that was the second opening act. More on that later. 

Set list after the jump.

La Roux Set List:

New song (perhaps It's Easy Now?)
As if by Magic
I'm Not Your Toy
Growing Pains
Under My Thumb (R Stone's Cover)
Colourless Colour
In For the Kill

Christeen Roden has an English degree from University of Maryland at College Park. She maintains her own blog about Baltimore and has written for Erik Maza edited this post.

Photo: La Roux MySpace

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Posted by Erik Maza at 9:14 AM | | Comments (5)


Did this have anything to do either with her recovery from bronchitis + pharyngitis, or perhaps nerves resulting from this being one of the first gigs after the one-two illness punch? On top of the obvious album issues?

Agreed. The Under My Thumb cover was lame. I hope Social Distortion covers that song though when they reschedule their show that they canceled on Saturday.

Her voice seemed weak and whiney. I'm not very familiar with her music other than "Bulletproof", but every time I thought the song was about to change it up a little with a bridge or something it just stayed the same. I think the best performer was the drummer. He looked like Rick Astley, just give him La Roux's hair dye and he'll be set. I yelled "Rick Roll" but they didn't oblige me. The show could've used more special effects too and maybe some costume changes or gold facepaint. Any gimmick would've helped. Also, I was hoping her hair would get messy like Janelle Monae's does after she puts some effort into her perfomance.

I know! Her hair appeared to be held up with superglue. I was really hoping it would feel more like her video for Bulletproof. There should have been more neon colors and 80's geometric patterns.

Huh.....well I guess I'm glad that I accidentally fell asleep at home with my tickets sitting on the table.

Gotta say, you all are a tough crowd. I'm fairly picky about the shows I go to and went to see La Roux for my wife primarily as she's the fan. I felt her performance was spot on. I didn't think the vocals carried as much force as on the album, but they had more emotion behind them. Perhaps I'm taking this from it since I was right in front of the stage. Further away, it might have been a different experience.

And yes, second band made me want to kill myself. Whose ingenious idea was that?

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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