More on last night’s LCD Soundsystem show at Bowery Ballroom:
I had forgotten how much fun it is to go to dance-y concerts until I went to LCD Soundsystem last night. The show started off with Mahi Mahi, a two-piece who reminded me of some other horrible synth-electronic band I had the misfortune of seeing at an NYU show many years ago called Flux Information Society. Not because I remember them sounding anything alike, but because they both produced such strong feelings of disgust in terms of their non-musical talents. Granted, I think there is a time and place for weird “experimental” blip-music…the time being 3am and the place being a basement bar located in Williamsburg.
But there were some people there that really dug Mahi Mahi. Unfortunately those people were a bunch of guys way up front and center who were flopping around like a bunch of Mexican jumping beans, screaming out thinks like “MAHI MAHI RUUUUUULLLLLLES!” and “LCD SOUNDSYSTEM SUUUUUUCKKKKKS!” like a bunch of drunken frat dudes. By the time LCD Soundsystem came on around 11pm, a couple of them had been kicked out of the Bowery for either smoking or underage drinking. Not sure which, but one of the security guards on for that night sure had it out for them.
When James Murphy and company came on, the crowd was ready. However, James immediately came on stage and downplayed any expectations the crowd may or may not have had saying to the effect of, “After this show we’re done. I don’t mean the band, I just mean after this album we’re done. We’ll go on and quietly make bad albums.” Nothing like coming on stage and setting yourself up for failure, right? The only way to go is up!
They played lots of stuff from the album, like “Movement,” “Too Much Love,” and “Tribulations,” along with the hits like “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House” and the oldie-but-a-goodie “Losing My Edge” and one Siouxsie and the Banshees cover. I think there are two great types of concerts to see lots of white kids dancing really badly, one is at ska shows and the other is a LCD Soundsystem concerts. Luckily in the case of LCD Soundsystem, it happens to be good music so the bad pop-and-lock moves are forgivable. There were a few instances when people would shout stuff at the band and James would simply tell them to just “shut the f-ck up” or to talk “one at a time” in a tone that a big brother would use to their annoying whiney younger brother, giving the show that true hometown feel.
When they had danced all the kids out, James came up to the mic saying that the next song was going to be their last and that they really weren’t going to come out for an encore because they didn’t have any more songs to play…or if the audience wanted, they could leave the stage now and allow the crowd to start clapping and screaming really loudly and come back looking surprised like, “You really want us to play another song?!?! Wow! Thanks! You really like us!” Well they didn’t end up leaving the stage, but they did give everyone one last good rump-shaker in the form of a spirited version of one of the most played dance songs of last year, “Yeah,” which included James grabbing the drumsticks and taking some mean wacks at the drums. An eerie green light was shown over his body, so as he went to work on the kit he turned this shade of Incredible Hulk green, making him look like a superhuman music machine.
As the song ended, the crowd cheered with arms up in the air. LCD Soundsystem walked off for good and the packed ballroom cleared out into the brisk, chilly night. As I walked toward the exit doors I heard a girl say to her friend, “I thought it was ok, but I didn’t like that last song at all,” to which I turned around and hit her in the face because she was clearly an idiot. No, I’m kidding, I didn’t punch her in the face, but I did roll my eyes because this girl was putting a damper on what had been a great, fun dance party night. Oh well, I guess it only goes to show you that in New York you can’t please all the shag haircuts all of the time.