La Roux At The Fonda Theatre

  • La Roux's Elly Jackson
    Photo: The Recording Academy

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By Crystal Larsen
Los Angeles

You would never know that Elly Jackson, one of the principal songwriters behind English duo La Roux, failed music studies as a student. But it seems what Jackson learned from influences such as David Bowie, the Knife and Prince were enough to get her and her band where they're at today — only one full-length studio album deep and already GRAMMY winners.

Between their weekend slots at this year's Coachella festival, La Roux dropped by the Fonda Theatre on April 18 for a short set that was fueled by an intense energy exuded by both Jackson and the crowd. The show began shortly after 9 p.m. when the house lights dropped and the band took the stage, minus Jackson, who was offstage, solemnly singing the chorus to the set's opener and lead track from their GRAMMY-winning 2009 self-titled debut, "In For The Kill," which also earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best Dance Recording. As synthetic electro-pop pounded through the venue, Jackson danced onstage to a deafening cheer.

Though the set lasted only an hour, it was clear what a devout following this band has achieved in a short amount of time. They performed nine tracks off La Roux, including "Quicksand," "Growing Pains" and "Cover Me Eyes," the latter of which sounded like such a perfect '80s ballad I wouldn't be surprised if Debbie Gibson and Roxette also appeared on Jackson's list of influences.

Though I started the night in the front row, where I was in a line of screaming fans who would literally grab at their hair as if they would pull it out if Jackson inched any closer to the edge of the stage, I eventually made my way back and found myself maneuvering through a sea of dancers. There wasn't a still body in the house. 

There were also some new songs thrown into the mix, including "Sexoteque," "Kiss & Not Tell," "Tropical Chancer," and "Uptight Downtown," all of which exhibit a combination of dancehall influences, tropical flavor and drum and bass. Hopefully this is a sign that there's new music from La Roux on the way.

Though they left the stage momentarily, the crowd knew the band would make their way back as there was a glaring omission from the set list — their breakout hit "Bulletproof." One of my favorite songs released in 2009, the lyrics couldn't be more appropriate to end a week that has been anything but calm for the United States: "This time … I'll be bulletproof."

If you're heading to the desert for weekend two of Coachella, make sure and catch La Roux on Sunday at 7:15 p.m. on the Mojave stage.

Set List:
"In For The Kill"
"Colourless Colour"
"Growing Pains"
"Kiss & Not Tell"
"Cover My Eyes"
"Tropical Chancer"
"I'm Not Your Toy"
"Uptight Downtown"

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