This band regularly vies for the top spot on my carefully weighed list of all-time favorite bands. Those of you who know me, you know I take this list very seriously. I have traveled 458 miles (one way) to see this band. I own more Ludo merch than any other kind of merch. Some of it is signed. The picture on my profile page is one of me at a Ludo concert.
I’ve seen people tattoo Ludo lyrics on their bodies, but I don’t get tattoos. So I made the best tribute I could think of – I made Ludo a nontrivial plot point in Canine. They are my best character’s favorite band. I hope they don’t mind.
I felt the need to plug this band for many reasons. Like I said above, their music makes me feel. End of story. You can find a Ludo song to create any mood. Feeling fun and a little macabre? Try Love Me Dead. Dark and heartfelt? Horror of Our Love. Epic? Save Our City. Love-struck and devotional? Anything for You. (P.S. my sister didn’t go for it, but if Anything for You had been out when I got married I would have gotten a guitarist to play it during our wedding ceremony. Sister is still definitely playing it at the reception.) (Also, apologies to the band for not linking to official videos for some of those!)
Also, they wrote and composed a rock opera, a whole five-part rock opera, called Broken Bride. I’ve cried many times at the end. This is what my sister and I traveled 916 round-trip miles to go see, because that was the nearest Ludo was getting to us on the Broken Bride tour and we sure as hell weren’t going to miss it. My pterodactyl fan shirt (see below) is a reference to this opera (and that’s how good this band is – they seamlessly imbue swarming pterodactyls with deep tragedian pathos).
Also, I have a thing for people with thick-rimmed glasses. At one time (not coincidentally, about the time I was getting into Ludo) lead singer Andrew Volpe wore such glasses. When I say I have a thing, I’m not really invoking the standard colloquialism here – I mean that I have a serious need to win the approval of people wearing these glasses. I don’t know why. I feel a weird sense of urgency to please when I am in contact with these people. I feel ashamed when I don’t know and sing every single word to every Ludo song played live, even if I’m about to die of asphyxiation.
Also, their concerts are by far the most fun I’ve ever had listening to live music. Some of the most fun I’ve had ever. I think I can blame them for some of my tinnitus (I’m now that doofus wearing bright green earplugs at the front of the crowd). They’re the best because they’re insane and fun and wild and so are their fans. The last concert tour involved a lot of whipped cream and choreographed crowd dancing. I’m still saddened that I missed one of their concerts in my hometown because I had to present a poster at a conference that same day in D.C. I was sorely tempted to skip the job obligation and go anyway. If I hadn’t already bought the ticket when the concert was posted, I would have.
Also, their name derives from The Labyrinth. I mean, come on. Can you get sicker than that?
Here’s how quickly I knew I loved Ludo. I was driving home from the parents’ house one Sunday night and switched to the local rock station. And this insanely crazy fantastic satiric song I’d never heard before was on, and it hit every trigger I’ve created over the years for song awesomeness: tragic love, melodrama, vivid poetic imagery, death references, lots of well-timed bass, sick guitar solo, perfect climax. I almost never fall for songs on first listen, but I fell hard. Hard. I was sitting there begging the station aloud in my car to tell me who it was, trying to hold onto chorus lyrics so I could Google them later, and miraculously afterward the announcer said, “And that was Ludo with Love Me Dead.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I told myself, If that band meant Ludo like from The Labyrinth, I will love them forever. And I got home and made a beeline for the computer, and now I will love them forever.
Ludo… they’re great. They’re just great, and you should check them out. I mean it.