LCD Soundsystem @ O2 Academy, Birmingham 26/04/2010

April 28, 2010 by  

The unmistakable rhythms of opener, ‘Get Innocuous!’ were delicately picked out before its signature pulses and bass-riffs kicked in with a force that got every spine tingling, but the rush of instant delight was tempered by faint question-marks in the corner of the mind, “Where do they go from here? Have they peaked too soon?” However, the momentum was sustained and the upbeat crowd was treated to a chant-fest as ‘Yr City’s a Sucker’ and ‘Daft Punk Is Playing at My House’ followed a fever-pitch ‘Us vs. Them’ with huge disco-ball snowflakes settling onto a stage bathed in white and Murphy at his swaggering best, adding to the spectacle by throwing in extra percussive bangs and pops from his collection of instruments.

It wasn’t surprising just how well the latest material sits alongside tracks from the band’s debut, forming what is now (I guess) the complete LCD Soundsystem catalogue. New track ‘Pow Pow’ went off like a classic – and a full moon faded into view as Murphy leaned back and howled out the affirmative, melodic chorus of current single ‘Drunk Girls’ over its perfect mix of thuggish shouts and cheeky hand-claps. ‘I Can Change’ also sounded amazing and heartfelt – marking itself out as the stand-out track from the latest record. ‘All I Want’ also made a subdued appearance later in the encore but it’s a shame they didn’t do more from ‘This is Happening’ – ‘One Touch’ and ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ would have both been received brilliantly.

As the main LCD set drew to a close the air was thick with smoke, nauseating green lights strobed briefly to illuminate the fuzzy figures on stage and the final tracks ‘Tribulations’, ‘Movement’ and ‘Yeah’ (all lifted from the eponymous debut) saw things take a darker turn – their relentless beats, oppressive layers of noise and thrash guitar all felt very hypnotic and sent the sweaty, tired crowd into a bit of a daze.

It was a relief to be dragged back into the fresh air and everything was bright and breezy again for the encore which kicked off with ‘Someone Great’, an uplifting performance with some cute glockenspiel action. First LCD single, ‘Losing my Edge’ was an interesting choice – largely spoken-word and not a short track by any means, it was lapped up by hardcore fans but possibly marked a downturn in atmosphere. The jaunty guitar riff on ‘All I Want’ quickly redressed the balance and sounded gorgeous, and ‘New York I Love You…’ was a fitting anthem to round things off. Murphy crooned into his retro mic like an edgy American Morrissey, bowing out with a few charmingly shambolic bars of ‘Empire State of Mind’, and leaving the band to take the song home with a triumphant instrumental, all lights blazing, all fists punching the air in time and even a few semi-ironic lighters held aloft.

So that’s where LCD goes from there, then. It’s unfortunate that this is likely to be their last tour as this gig felt more like another ‘Hello’ than a final farewell.


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