Last night was the first of five shows marking LCD Soundsystem’s long farewell. Four consecutive shows at Terminal 5 and the big funeral/finale/party at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. The band is retiring. This is the beginning of the end. This is Happening.
Early 80’s NYC post-disco band Liquid Liquid opened with a small technical problem, but otherwise their set was fine. These guys reunited in 2008 and it’s interesting to hear how their hybrid rhythm of early punk, ska and dub reggae really influenced LCD’s entire sound or oeuvre.But their sound paled in comparison to LCD Soundsystem. I likened it to having an iPhone 4 and then having your grandmother show you how a rotary phone works. You appreciate the roots and groundwork, but ultimately, you’re still bored.
At some point upon returning to my spot with my friends, I mentioned to my pals that this crowd doesn’t really look like real LCD fans. You know when you go to an intimate sized venue and you can just tell that everyone really wants to be there and essentially everyone’s on the same page?This is often not the case at Terminal 5 and just one reason why many people dislike the venue. So this guy in front of me overhears me and somehow immediately takes defense and retorts, “So what does a real LCD fan look like? Do they have to wear bright, sparkly t-shirts?”
And that’s when I started to really comprehend where James Murphy may be coming from with his retirement of LCD. As LCD played an amazing three hour set (which I didn’t see coming at all), you could see what songs the crowd really reacted to (mostly from their latest album and a few obvious hits) and when the band ventured into their “2nd chunk” of songs and played great tracks from 45:33, people got restless. Some left after the first, brief set break and many more left after the second chunk that concluded with a very rare performance of “Freak Out/Starry Eyes” from 45:33.
You can’t choose who your fans are, but I feel the grandiose overhyping of these LCD shows matched with the large capacity of Terminal 5 and Madison Square Garden has just created a large following of people that just want to say they were there. James Murphy hinted at this at a show in Orlando last October. After the second song of staring into a sea of cell phones and cameras taking pictures and video, he said, “I don’t care if you take pictures or video of our shows, but I just feel that you’re not really here with us. Besides when you get home, you’re just going to have a shaky video and hear this (he then makes lot of loud bass and static sounds into his mic). Let’s just have fun together, okay?”
My physical outlook after night one is still optimistic. As usual after an LCD show, neck and ankles are sore from dancing. LCD shows are a full out dance party especially when they open with “Dance Yrself Clean.” Let’s see if I can survive five with a Cut Copy show squeezed in between.
Set List – March 28, 2011 (Night 1):
Dance Yrself Clean
I Can Change
Time to Get Away
Daft Punk is playing at my house
Yr City’s a Sucker
All My Friends
You Can’t Hide (Shame on You)
Sound of Silver
Out in Space
Freak Out/Starry Eyes
Us vs. Them
You Wanted a Hit
Losing My Edge
New York I Love You
LCD Soundsystem is playing five shows for its farewell tour from March 28 – April 2. Prefix contributor B.Q. Nguyen is attending all five shows and giving his take on each show.