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LCD Soundsystem Dance Themselves Clean at Hayden Homes Amphitheater

Updated: May 18

Poster made by me :)

Back in my later days of high school, all that occupied my mind was the bands of 2000s New York. This included The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Moldy Peaches, Interpol, TV On The Radio, and of course, LCD Soundsystem. I religiously studied their interviews and ways of life, their relationships and how they made their music. Consequently, these things led me to Meet Me In The Bathroom, the oral history composed by Lizzy Goodman, which was made into a documentary in 2022. This was my first real look into the life of James Murphy, the mastermind behind LCD Soundsystem. I thought he was so annoying in the beginning. His pretentious attitude and extensive main-character syndrome was off-putting to me. It took a while to get past this, but once I did, I really was able to see the genius he put into his work. I understood where this pretentiousness was coming from. My respect for him has built over the years, and now I admire his commitment to the music through everything that happened with The Rapture and DFA Records. Getting to see them after scouring their history for so long was such an incredible experience.

The lights dimmed on the stage and out walked Murphy, clad in a matching blue Carhartt set that would make the indie kids jealous. The opening electronic sequence of "Get Innocuous!" began, and before long, I could feel the barricade shaking with the force of a thousand people dancing. But it was when "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" was performed that i could feel the energy roll of the masses in waves, each beat of the bass further sucking the crowd in. It was a wonderful surprise to get to hear this song, they didn't even play it at their Kilby Block Party performance the previous weekend.

"oh baby" slowed things down a bit, and I must note that this song in combination with the setting sun was a blissful experience. The clouds turned a light pink, visible through the back of the amphitheater, and the soft synths lullabied the crowd into the most serence excitement I've ever seen. But then, in true LCD Soundystsem, they had to pick it back up, and the crowd responded to the switch immediately when the opening beats of "Tribulations" began. This was the song I was looking forward to hearing live the most, and it did not let me down. This had me wholeheartedly headbanging and doing my part in shaking the barricade. Everything felt so magical in the moment! The crowd screaming back to the band at the top of their lungs "Get your money from the nation / For your trials and tribulations" left me in a fully transcendent state, so much so that I had to stop headbanging for a second because I felt lightheaded. Oops!

Other fan favorites were played, such as "tonite" and "Someone Great", but what really united the people once again was "Losing My Edge". I will admit, this song is a bit funny to me, but Murphy has stated that the song is very serious to him, it's not a joke. But to me, that's the funniest part. The eight minute track is a stab at the the "kids" and how before anyone knew any music, he was there. "I was there / I was there in 1968 / I was there at the first Can show in Cologne / I'm losing my edge / To the kids whose footsteps I hear." Yes James, we know, you were the first playing Daft Punk to the rock kids. While it would make me just as pretentious to say that I relate to this song, I will say say that I understand where he's coming from. There's some morbid relationship between how he felt then and how I feel now, hearing songs I knew and loved when I was 13 get famous on TikTok, and being told I only know that song because of its virality. It sucks, sometimes it's not fun to see a band that was once your little secret turn into something of modern popularity. I'm sure that's exactly how Murphy saw Daft Punk in the 90s, so I understand. I'd love to have a conversation with him on his thoughts of modern virality.

They closed the show with three of their most loved songs, starting with "Dance Yrself Clean". I think the crowd could feel that it was a sort of beginning of the end, and the sentimentalism really set in. But it really hit me personally during the first line of "New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down". It was a track I played when I felt longing to be in New York and fell victim to the long nights of fanticising about the city. During those nights, I wished I had a reason to hate New York, because it meant that I'd been there in the first place. It was a bittersweet feeling when Murphy delivered the openeing verse. I took a minute to look around at the band, and felt so honored to be in the prescence of incredible musicians such as Nancy Whang, Pat Mahoney, Phil Mossman, and all the rest of them. While Murphy writes a lot of the music, the show wouldn't be as incredible live if it weren't for everyone else playing a part in it. It's necessary to give them as much credit as him! The buildup in that song completely overtook the atmosphere, bringing yet another wave of nostalgic transcendece to me and I'm sure the rest of the audience.

And of course, they closed the show with "All My Friends". Using this song to say goodbye is a great choice everytime they use it. LCD Soundsystem have many tracks that feel quite coming-of-age, and this song certainly falls in that category for me. "Where are your friends tonight? / If I could see all my friends tonight." Honestly, the whole show made me feel like I was in a teenage movie. It was wonderful because those songs did remind me of being a teeanger, it was what I was listening to when I was 16 or 17. It was a night that completely encapsulated years of nostalgia and the pinch-me feeling of being in front of people who you've studied so much. Thank god LCD Soundystsem didn't stay broken up in 2011!


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