From the manic dance moves of CSS to the understated cool of Ladytron's super-stylish set, Wednesday night's sold-out Beachland Ballroom show was probably one of the most energetic and engaging shows Cleveland has seen all year.
As the line still wrapped around the Beachland's parking lot, the Brazilian-based CSS quickly got the room's hips swaying with the lead track off their self-titled album, CSS Suxxx.
The group's spritely lead singer, Lovefoxxx, made it clear that no one was gonna stand cross-armed at her gig. She spent half the set offstage, shaking subdued indie-rock boys into motion, sipping from people's beers, feeling up girls, tumbling around the dance floor like an aerobics instructor on speed, and reminding the audience to "get drunk and fuck, okay?" in an irresistible Sao Paulo accent.
As the band belted out each of their dance tunes with the naughty-girl-next-door fervor of the Runaways, Lovefoxxx's energy proved contagious. The audience gladly helped her out on "Art Bitch," gleefully chanting "suck my art hole!" By the time the band closed with their hit "Let's make love and listen to Death From Above," Lovefoxxx was surfing through the audience's arms and few feet were standing still.
With the room nice and toasty after CSS's sweaty bump-and-grind set, Ladytron finally took the stage. After three years of skipping over our city, it was evident that Clevelanders had been anticipating the Kraftwerk-inspired outfit for some time. Ladytron did not disappoint.
Their set was as enticingly visual as it was sonic. Dawned in all black, the ominous wall of sound built by the pile of synthesizers onstage was brought to life through geometric video projections that lit up against the porcelain, robot-like faces of the group's two female lead singers, whose seductive vocal harmonies carefully carried over the cacophony of synths and live instruments.
The group played a healthy assortment of songs from all three of their records, the highlights being those from their debut album, 604.
Despite their stoic, uber-arty aesthetic, Ladytron was clearly happy to see the audience engaged in an all-out dance party. "We like Cleveland," said the band's Daniel Hunt. "You guys dance." -- Denise Grollmus