Live review: The Ting Tings @ the Ogden TheatreBy Matt Miller | April 2nd, 2012 | 2 comments
Bathed in primary colors while filling the Ogden Theatre with accessible dance pop, the Ting Tings’ performance on Saturday night was like a living iPod commercial. Occasionally, the duo was lit from behind transforming lead singer, Katie White, into a dancing silhouette perfectly recreating the iconic Apple advertisements. It was an atmosphere fitting for the British group whose song, “Shut Up and Let Me Go,” was made famous by such an ad. With big beats and bigger hooks, the Ting Tings are selling frivolous enjoyment, and the packed theater bought it up.
An impressive lighting display of LED pillars formed a horseshoe of neon blues and whites and reds around the band. White danced across the stage seducing the audience to shout along with the gang vocals. In fact, White was so active that a stagehand had the unfortunate task of untangling her mic cord from the equipment during the entire set. At one point, out of breath, she brought an oxygen tank on stage in a battle against the Colorado altitude. Meanwhile, the other half of the Ting Tings, Jules de Martino, kept busy supplying catchy hooks on the guitar, backing vocals and heavy dance beats on the drums — sometimes all at the same time.
When the two walked on stage and White said, “We are the Ting Tings and we want you all to f***ing dance,” they got their wish. The dancing in the theater was contagious. In a euphoric state, the audience sucked up the sassy high-tempo tunes, responding with constant movement. What was interesting was the dynamic of this elated crowd. For music geared toward a teen, iPod generation that wants to feel rebellious in the safe confines of playful pop, the audience was mostly made up of older folks. People in their 30s and 40s unleashed the teen inside with the duo’s playful pop.
The Ting Tings played through tracks from their 2008 debut, “We Started Nothing,” and their sophomore album, “Sounds From Nowheresville,” which was released this year. Relying on the help of musicians playing to the side of the stage, the music was a full mix of pre-recorded samples and live instrumentation. The songs, very simple, are easy for fans to latch onto. For example, the stomping, “That’s Not My Name,” which they played for an encore, began with an ominous beat that turned into an all out sing-along jam.
With lyrics that consist of lots of “ohs” and “las” and “na na nas,” there’s not much below the surface of the Ting Tings’ music, but the duo isn’t really trying to sell anything with depth. It was clear Saturday night that, like an iPod commercial, the Ting Tings are simply pitching the visceral fun of listening to music.
Matt Miller is a new contributor to Reverb.
Vy Pham is a Denver photographer and a new contributor to Reverb.