La Roux shines in Boston

A review of La Roux at the House of Blues on November 15, 2010

, Managing Editor

With her slick-styled coif, Elly Jackson of La Roux may be known for her sense of fashion almost as much as her infectious synthpop and after bearing a long, Dark Ages-esque coat for show opener “Tigerlily” she shed the robe for a shimmering golden jacket. Monday at the House of Blues, mixing dance tracks and bubbly ballads, the red-haired one gave a performance that outshined even her dazzling appearance.

La Roux is comprised of singer Elly Jackson and keyboardist Ben Langmaid. Behind the scenes the duo splits creative input as they are co-write and co-produce their material, but on stage their show is very much piloted by Jackson. The singer fueled the show with her energy as she scurried across the stage for livelier numbers like singles “I’m Not Your Toy” and “In For the Kill” and captivated the audience with her soothing vocals during the ballad “Armour Love”.

With only one album to their name, the duo played nearly every song off their self-titled debut. They also gave their synth treatment to the Rolling Stones “Under My Thumb”, during which Langmaid stepped back from the keyboard for a few minutes to dabble with the bass, the only song to feature instrumentation outside of keys/synth and electric drums. Although the range of sounds a synth is capable of is vast, the overall style of the group is limited thanks to their straight synth and drums approach. Yet the group is amazingly able to sound fresh song after song thanks to their inventive beats and Jackson’s versatile vocals. On top of that, their limited formula allows La Roux’s sound to translate perfectly from the studio to the stage. Nothing was compromised from their record as the synth and beats were easily re-created and Jackson’s perfect vocals displayed her raw talent.

Like most new groups with a hit single, La Roux made the wise choice of playing theirs during the encore. Although, most new groups do this because their other material usually can’t live up to their hit, but in La Roux’s case they easily could have kept fans around for the encore had they played “Bulletproof” earlier in the set. With strobe lights flashing and fans on the floor hopping, the show came to a rousing finish as hundreds of fans joined Jackson in belting out the catchy chorus.

La Roux is set to begin writing their next album after Christmas, and are rumored to be broadening their sound. They’ve certainly mastered the synth and drums combination, and with a voice like Jackson’s they’re likely to shine no matter what she’s singing over.

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