Every so often there’s a show in NYC so seismic that RSS and Twitter feeds become hostile places for anyone not lucky (or whatever) enough to be there. I’m aware of the phenomenon, and sorry to do this to you, but LCD Soundsystem at Music Hall Of Williamsburg was that show, and this is that post. Everything James said from stage last night has been quoted repeatedly in every review and tweeterism since, but that’s because the guy knows how to say quotable things. Straight away, there was “the good news/bad news” bit: “The good news is, we’re here. The bad news is, I’m wasted.” (Champagnes and whiskeys, if you’re one to try things at home.) He tried to pitch it as “not really a show,” as a rehearsal, really, though a friend told me they’d been in rehearsals in MHOW for the past three days. And that’s somewhat comforting if you’re in a band, because any septet that can pummel their dance-punk and sail their more emotional stylings that freakishly well after three years off is a band to be feared. The focus was on the new stuff, because even inside a room full of the more connected music goers in the city, few have actually spent time with This Is Happening, a fact about which James was mindful (comparing it to being a kid and traveling to a Smiths show only to be bummed they’d played “Panic” instead of “This Charming Man”; charisma-plus, every second), and this was a room full of people that will listen to very little else once they finally do (the record’s a beast). So only two songs came from the new: one called “Change,” and then the divisive but rousing in the flesh summer-party jam “Drunk Girls.” Otherwise it was a setlist of older triumphs — name your favorite three LCD songs and they played them — though the room lost it hardest for “Losing My Edge,” lyrics tweaked here and there, introduced by James saying “I’m 40. You know how old that is? That means most of the shows I saw when I was a kid were opened by Fishbone.” The self-aware/self-deprecating shtick runs into a wall though, with the new millennial life-rule that occurred to me last night: If you wrote “Losing My Edge,” you will never actually do so. (Applies to a population of one.) LCD hadn’t played it in five years. It was a moment. I was there. So was YouTube:
“Losing My Edge”
And of course, this happened:
They’re playing again Monday night at Webster Hall, and then they’re at Coachella. I’m going to all of them. That’s how good this show was. Opening were Light Asylum, who I caught accidentally at the newish Southside of Williamsburg bar The Woods on Halloween opening for Frankie Rose & The Outs, and again earlier this week opening for Suckers at Brooklyn Bowl. They continue to get better, led by !!!-affiliated vocalist Shannon Funchess, nailing a gothy new wave sound that comes from the Depeche/New Order end of things, with an operatic voice and occasionally stark, icy beats. One to watch, and clearly opening for all the right bands.
Here’s the LCD setlist, which will make you weep: