Ratatat’s “Magnifique” Tour Is Absolutely Magnificent

September 21, 2015
Rialto- Tucson, AZ

      Ratatat, a Brooklyn based instrumental/electronic rock duo, played at the Rialto in Tucson Arizona this past Monday the 21st. The Rialto, an old movie theatre turned concert venue provided the perfect backdrop for Ratatat and Hot Sugar’s modern and electronic sound. Hot Sugar, an electronic artist from New York, opened the show and got the crowd dancing. Hot Sugar put on an excellent show, utilizing an interesting video backdrop that streamed while he switched between his laptop and guitar. Fans could be seen relaxing in the movie theatre seating towards the back of the venue nodding along to Hot Sugar as well as lining the base of the stage. As the time came closer to Ratatat’s appearance, the bodies lining the base of the stage packed in closer.

Ratatat, composed of Evan Mast (bass, percussion, synthesizers) and Mike Stroud (guitar, synthesizers, percussion), released their fifth album Magnifique this July. As the lights dimmed, the screen behind the stage flashed with the band’s name in giant letters. After every light on the stage illuminated the crowd with a blinding white light, shocking the audience, the duo stepped on stage and dove into the set. They played a number of songs from their recent album as well as their Ratatat13popular singles including: Loud Pipes, Mirando, Wildcat, and Cream on Chrome, just to name a few. Streaming behind the band throughout the set were videos created and edited by Mast himself, consisting of mesmerizing images. Scenes from the movie “Predator” switching from night vision camera to explosion scenes could be seen during Mirando. Roaring lions and parakeets were among other visuals that accompanied their performance. Not only were there visuals on the screen behind the duo, but also a panel on each side of the stage projected images that supplemented the main screen. Lasers and smoke machines were used to create an illusion of swirling smoke as fans reached up to try to touch the lasers pointing above their heads. As if the lasers and the projected images were not enough stimulation, Mast and Stroud could be seen thrashing around on stage as silhouettes illuminated from behind. Stroud could be seen literally throwing himself into the music by collapsing to his knees and quickly jumping back up from time to time. Stroud also occasionally stepped in front of the projector so that his giant shadow appeared on the screen behind him.

When the duo appeared back on stage for their encore, fans rushed the media barricade that touched the base of the stage. The duo moved in closer to their fans and banged out an impressive drum duet. During the encore Stroud and Mast moved closer to the edge of the stage, making eye contact with a number of fans and nodding to them in acknowledgement and smiling during Seventeen Years. At the end of the encore the band ditched their instruments and approached the crowd with outstretched arms, giving genuine “thank you’s” to the fans below.

This was among the most intimate moments I’ve ever witnessed at a concert, the genuine love that Ratatat has for their music and their fans is reason enough to experience this concert. I use the word “experience” because that is what this show is, it is not “seeing” or “hearing” Ratatat, it is a complete experience that envelops the senses. For those of you that are interested in diving into the world of instrumental music, this concert is among the best you will see across all musical genres and I cannot recommend enough that you pick up your tickets for when they come through.

Review by: Meghan Lee