I have been so excited to see British electro-pop group La Roux ever since I downloaded their debut album late last year. I missed them when they played Hiro Ballroom in October, but not this time. I’m thrilled to be up front and CenterOrch for the Golden Tour’s stop at Webster Hall. La Roux (btw) is a band — not a solo artist — though I learned that “La Roux” means “the red-haired one,” obviously inspired by front woman Elly Jackson’s insanely coiffed ‘do!
My affection for La Roux is rooted in their ’80s-inspired sound, clearly influenced by the likes of the Human League, Depeche Mode and Yazoo. Yet it is the Yaz parallel that intrigues me most because I heart YAZ! While Elly Jackson may not have the vocal chops of the great, great Alison Moyet, her voice is certainly distinctive. She loves the spotlight and that hair and androgynous fashion sense screams “pay attention to me!” It all makes her sort of an odd-ball, unexpected pop star, but in a very good way… just like Ms. Moyet! Then you compare the reclusive, behind-the-scenes electro-synth work of Ben Langmaid to the brilliant and shy Vince Clarke and the parallel becomes more evident. Is La Roux the new Yazoo? Only time will tell.
My timing is impeccable as I checked my coat, got a beer and maneuvered my way to a decent spot just as the lights fade and La Roux kicks things off with “Tigerlily.” Elly works the stage in a gold lame jacket and is clearly soaking up the adoration of her New York fans, then works through most of my favorite songs off their debut CD including “Reflections are Protection,” “Quicksand” and one of my favorites, “Fascination.”
But things really got going when crowd pleasers “I’m Not Your Toy” and “In For The Kill” were performed. “In For The Kill” was especially brilliant as a rouge light flooded the stage and Elly went on and on and on with her “oooohhhhhhs.” She’s good at those! They quickly left the stage and came back for one encore, their best known hit, “Bulletproof.”
All in all, a really good show. If I had two wishes, it would be for La Roux to have performed “Armour Love” and “As If By Magic,” and played maybe 30 minutes longer… I don’t know if they even performed for an entire hour? It was a short set but I’m satisfied and excited to see them again. If you don’t have their CD, go to iTunes and get it now!