La Roux played at Showbox on Monday, April 19, 2010.
Who they are: An English electropop duo (composed of Elly Jackson and Ben Langmaid) that shot to superstardom in 2009, dominating the dance charts with music crammed full of synthesizers and catchy/simpering lyrics.
Why listeners dig them:
Sure, it's been done before, but La Roux's melancholy retro pop now seems refreshingly sincere in a genre that's become too polished since the rise of Lady GaGa and her minions.
The crowd: Eclectic as hell. Tweens, drag queens, and of course, plenty of hipsters, all dancing up a storm. At one point, I thought I smelled French fries, but it was actually the salty scent of the person next to me sweating profusely.
The show: One hour of falsetto sulking over screwed up relationships, with synthesizers and danceable beats thrown in. Hello, 80s throwback! (I mean that in a good way.)
A few notes on Elly Jackson:
La Roux's lead singer is stylin. She rocked her trademark androgynous look; the fiery-orange pompadour, massive shoulder pads, and skinny jeans. (Is it just me, or is Elly a dead ringer for English actress Tilda Swinton?)
Highlight: La Roux's cover of the Rolling Stones classic "Under My Thumb." Jackson admitted she "didn't normally like covers," but that this was a worthy exception. Indeed it was.
WTF moment: The young, hormonal couple engaged in 30-plus minutes of PDA on the dancefloor. Gross. Be in lust in the privacy of your own damn home. Or, in your case, your parents' home. Thanks.
What next?: La Roux played this summer to a near-empty room at Chop Suey. Less than a year later, overzealous fans packed Showbox at the Market. Surely, if they continue to record music like that on their debut album, La Roux will sell out Showbox SODO, a la Ladytron and Ratatat.