As a native New Yorker, I have a really embarrassing confession to make – I had never seen LCD Soundsystem live before. Kinda sad, right? But, thanks to their 20-night residency at Brooklyn Steel, spanning from late November to mid-December, I was finally able to correct that.
It’s not like I haven’t been a fan for years – rarely do I have a playlist devoid of “Trials & Tribulations”, “Tonite” or “North American Scum”. This time I lucked out – tickets for 20 nights of LCD Soundsystem in Brooklyn sold out in minutes – but I somehow got mine.
No opening band, just a single disco ball hanging from the rafters and a stage fully packed with equipment and instruments. Three drum sets, guitars, keyboards, more keyboards and a command center of sequencers. This was an installation, not just a band set up. As the lights went down and the disco playback faded, it was time to fire it all up. The beat started to rise, and the legendary James Murphy strolled onto the stage to take his role as conductor, singer, poet, pop culture commentator and percussive force.
The night got started with “Beat Connection” which the band dusted off for the first time in 16 years, just for this run of shows. The Kraftwerk nod in the bassline of “Get Innocuous” led to a very obvious favorite band reference with “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House.”
The band is just great to watch – you can see their mutual enjoyment and cues to each other, keeping everything on track. With so many instruments and players on stage, it’s a lot to keep on the rails.
Other highlights of the set included “American Dream”, “I Can Change” and an extended version of “Losing My Edge” – complete with a Yaz “Situation” break and snippet of Daft Punk’s “Da Funk”. If you weren’t dancing and lost in the beat by that point, you were never gonna get there.There was a very official encore announcement in advance, in which James Murphy declared that there would be four more songs, “a break with enough time to use the bathroom or get a drink” and then they’d be back for four more songs. I make the mistake of leaving my post at the barricade to buy some DFA vinyl during the break and had to squeeze my way back into the doorway, it was so oversold. “All My Friends” wrapped up the evening and all of us aging NYC kids headed out into the night…
All Photos: Deb Johnsen