Ludo at the Pageant in St. Louis on Dec 10 and the Metro in Chicago on Dec 11, 2011
“A Very Ludo Christmas” is the annual Holiday concert that Ludo gives in their hometown of St. Louis, MO, with more trimmings than Macy’s tree. This year they took the celebration to the Metro in Chicago the following day, too. The Midwest hasn’t seen so much Christmas since….well, I can think of no preceding celebration that would compare.
In case you haven’t been to one of these shows, you need to know that this is not just a concert, it’s a mega-celebration of all things Christmas. It’s “Christmas for Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Pagans and Athiests”, and also for the eccentric, wacky and fun loving fans of the band that made ‘nerdity’ hot.
So much preparation went into the making of this show. The stage was a crowded hodgepodge of Christmas lawn ornaments and trinkety decor, as if Kris Kringle’s yard sale exploded all over it, crowned by a giant inflatable candy-cane arch framing the scene. Before the fans arrived, the venue was deliberately sprayed with pine scent, to give the feeling of walking smack-dab onto a Christmas tree lot. Costumed characters including a snowman, Mrs Claus, a Christmas tree and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer mixed freely with the crowd and served cookies and candy canes. There was a booth where attendees could get their portrait taken with Santa Claus for free. During the show, confetti cannons fired, and the performance culminated with a balloon drop to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne”. Wrapped tacky presents were tossed into the crowd by band members, which included cassette tape cases, Trivial Pursuit cards, Star of David print baby Onesies, a Hillary Duff CD, used clothing and more wacky items, probably better than the ones you’ll get from the in-laws.
All this action, and I haven’t even gotten to the part about the music yet! The ice scene music from the movie Edward Scissorhands set the scene for an amazing set of Ludo-ness. They played favorites selected from all of their previous albums, including “Love Me Dead”, “Broken Bride”, “Whipped Cream”, “Girls on Trampolines”, “Save our City” and “Go Getter Greg”. Somewhere near the middle of the show, the audience was asked to be seated on the floor while Ludo went acoustic and sang traditional Christmas songs with the fans. Norman Rockwell himself couldn’t have created a more picturesque Holiday scene.
Ludo fans are devoted, and these two concerts were an exceptional show of enthusiasm from the fans who joined in on the customary groin thrusting dance of “Whipped Cream”, waved their arms together in unison during the impassioned pleas of “Save Our City”, and went boingy-ballistic during the performance of the goodtime party tune “Girls on Trampolines”. Even the humbuggiest of humbuggers left the place in love with Christmas, and probably with Ludo, too.