Itâ€™s hard not to use superlatives when describing LCD Soundsystem. Most influential New York band since the mid-2000s. Best live translation of an electronic project to a the stage since Daft Punk. Biggestâ€”and bestâ€”amalgamation of 1970s electronica, Krautrock and post-punk. (Itâ€™s also not hard to really enjoy using superlatives.)
Iâ€™m going to get deeply personal during this review, because Iâ€™m not fucking qualified enough to write about all the things that make James Murphyâ€™s (almost defunct) brainchild so important to music in this decade and the last. Heâ€™s helped bring a mature, astute, not-so-bubblegummy punk sound back to the mainstream and almost singlehandedly infused funk and jazz back into electronic music. LCD Soundsystem, in a lot of ways, is tantamount to the Talking Heads in the 70s, U2 in the 80s, Nirvana in the 90s. And thankfully, when the band performs live, they take the pedigree seriously.
An absolutely packed house waited patiently for some time on Wednesday nightâ€”after seemingly anorexic sets from Boyhollow and Hot Chipâ€”and were rewarded as Murphy & Co. entered stage left amidst flashing lights and bordering-on-obscene crowd noise. No introductions, no time wasted; just the muted introduction of â€œDance Yrself Clean,â€ which, almost fittingly, was met with even louder cheers. Of course, the first moment of titillating mayhem came a moment or so later when the song exploded into guitars, deep bass, pounding drums and a spray of strobe lights as forcefully as it does on record. Watch the video posted below; you wonâ€™t really understand whatâ€™s going on, but thatâ€™s how things went for the next 90-or-so minutes.
LCD rattled through a handful of tracks from their latest, This Is Happeningâ€”but stayed very loyal to longstanding appreciators by playing plenty of its more introspective, Eno-inspired work from Sound of Silver and the self-title debut including â€œAll My Friends,â€ â€œLosing My Edgeâ€ and the ubiquitously-licensed â€œDaft Punk is Playing at My House.â€ And while James Murphy was as sprightly and courteous as could be, the band was an incredible companion piece to his subdued bombastâ€”like, they were really good and stuff.
I left the Fillmore feeling three things: the first, an essentially renewed sense of faith in the venueâ€™s ability to accept sonically ingenious and rangy artists; and the second, a twinge of despair. After all, this is the last time anybody will ever see one of the coolest bands of the past 10 years play in Denver, ever again. The third thing I felt was relief that I hadnâ€™t missed this show after trying to talk myself into an early bedtime. I really hope you didn’t miss it either.