When you’ve made up your mind that you won’t be able to make it to see one of the best live bands currently touring, you accept the outcome. But sometimes, as I was fortunate enough to find out Saturday night, your wishes end up being granted after all. LCD Soundsystem, fresh off their just-completed Voodoo Fest performance, set off to the cozy, glowing atmosphere of the Orpheum. If you were one of the lucky few to fill the theater to capacity, you know how great it was to be in the surroundings of the disco, punk, electronic melodies of the James Murphy-led LCD Soundsystem.
Emerging from the back of the theater sharply at midnight, the seven-, sometimes eight-piece band seemed well on their way to destroying the crowd with infectious rhythm sections. Opening with the solidly in-your-face “Us V Them,” LCD Soundsystem had the crowd glued to the stage. From there, the new song (off the excellent American Dream) “Call the Police” welcomed the costume-crowned audience. Sure, everyone wasn’t dressed up, but it was still a party for every attendee.
The tricky thing about seeing a band like this live is that while nearly every song felt immediate and powerful, you can only fit so many nine-minute songs into the set. However, what we got last night was full of surprises, with reworked orders in the setlist and a finale emotional enough to make the whole crowd happy to be alive.
As they made their way through the tight and very animated performance, you got the sense they were reveling in the delight of playing a much smaller venue than they’ve gotten used to on the festival circuit over the last 18 months. Newer tracks like “I Used To” fit in precisely and energetically with old favorites like “Movement,” “Get Innocuous,” and Someone Great,” which got one of the biggest crowd reactions of the night.
As the main set concluded with a beautiful sing-along to the tune of “Home,” the band was poised to deliver the final nail to the exciting night. They didn’t disappoint either. Bowing out with the legendary build-up and danceathon that is “Dance Yrself Clean,” James, Nancy, Pat, and company closed with what’s probably one of the defining songs of the early- to mid-2000s, “All My Friends.” This song as a closer is perfect, and very much appropriate. It’s full of the sort of things that make a person grateful to be able to exist in this chaotic world. After all, music is a gift we give to another, and on Saturday night, LCD Soundsystem blessed us with a remarkable, unforgettable two-hour set.
Photos by Steve Hatley