Ratatat shines with silvery beats

Cloudy skies, a bit of a breeze and the constant impending threat of rain did not stop the party from beating on at SpringFest 2009.SA Concerts’ signature event, advertised as an ‘alternative to 4/20′ by the UVM Program Board, featured NYC-based electronic music duo Ratatat and the 10-piece psychedelic afro-beat Rubblebucket Orchestra.Although the mediocre weather discouraged crowds from arriving for the opening DJs, hula hoopers, games of Frisbee and general merriment, large crowds began to infest the CBWC green right around the time Ratatat was scheduled to begin.Due to a delay in schedule, UVM’s Top Cats hyped up the mob of spring-happy UVM students with Journey’s crowd-pleaser “Don’t Stop Believin’.”When the main attraction arrived, the overly dense crowd  had warmed up each other as large pockets of the crowd doubled as a mosh pit — complete with an inordinate amount of crowd surfing, lots of hands and bodies bouncing up and down and people toppling over left and right.Although guitarist Mike Stroud and synthesizer/producer Evan Mast did not show much emotion in producing their hip-bouncing beats, the crowd seemed more interested in mindlessly dancing than analyzing the stage presence of the two casually dressed guitar-and-bass-men.Nevertheless, the CBWC green displayed lots of strobe lights and two LED light trees which only further perpetuated the endless dancing that defined UVM’s biggest on-campus party.Ratatat relied on playing the hits, improvising on their defining songs “Lex,” “Wildcat” and “Mirando.”With the enthusiasm of the crowd, Stroud and Mast could have simply been standing on stage nodding their heads to pre-recorded songs.Regardless, Ratatat did bring out their musicianship with intricate drum solos and elaborate guitar instrumentation.The performance, which lasted for nearly two hours of mind-bending pulsation, ended with a well-deserved blast of silver confetti and an extended version of their seminal song, “Seventeen Years.”Although not the most incredible bout of instrumentalism, Ratatat brightened a dull Saturday by both pleasing the crowds and shining their silvery sound.