It makes sense that James Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem, one of the most highly coveted acts this summer (if not around), is on top of its proverbial game. Currently on tour for its highly praised-yet-possibly-last-effort This is Happening, these eclectic electro punks truly know how to rock.
Murphy and crew, after playing six straight shows, touched down in Chicago for one hell of a blistering performance. If you couldn’t squeeze into the sold-out show, which pushed the walled in confines of the Metro, don’t worry — thankfully, they’ll be back our way for the Pitchfork Music Festival come July 17th. Still, for those lucky Chicagoans on Wednesday, they danced their heart out… and more.
Brooklyn’s Holy Ghost started the night promptly at 9 p.m. This quartet warmed up the crowd with a tight 30 minute set, filled with pulsating drums and plenty of hand clapping. If you’re lost on their sound, here’s a simple formula: Think techno meets disco. Too vague? Well, you’ll just have to listen. However, take it from the Chicago crowd. While the group’s tunes were plenty danceable and even got a few heads bopping, the band has yet to find its groove as live performers.
Shortly after Holy Ghost left the stage, the anticipation for LCD visibly started to grow. People wanted Murphy and, what’s more, people were set to dance. At 10:20, the crew (Nancy Whang, Pat Mahoney, etc.) took the stage, followed by Murphy who opened with “Us vs. Them” and “Drunk Girls”. Naturally, the crowd went wild, and almost every dancing, rocking soul screamed off each lyric with fine precision.
Between songs, however, Murphy gabbed about how, for a short stint, he worked in The Metro doing sound (who knew?) and encouraged everyone to put down their iPhones. However, it’s hard to believe that Murphy, looking so comfortable and relaxed in a white t-shirt and sneakers, packs such a powerful punch. The entire band’s energy throughout the set was relentless. The moshing and fist pumping intensified during “Daft Punk is Playing at My House”, “All My Friends”, and “Movement” turning the Metro into a unified dance machine. It was hard to tell where one person ended and the other started. And while the heat escalated as minutes raced by, the “hits” never let up. The set closed with a 15 minute version of “Yeah” (complete with a smoke machine, laser show, and a disco ball), which allowed people to sweat out whatever they had left.
But that wasn’t enough. Shortly following, Murphy & Co. returned for an encore. This time, they unpacked some slower songs — “Someone Great” and “Losing My Edge” — which showcased Murphy’s deeper, softer side. As its made the rounds online and received its share of positive feedback, Murphy rolled out “New York, I Love You” with a special inclusion of Jay-z’s “Empire State of Mind”. Things shut down afterward, but every sweaty, dirty soul would agree the night certainly lived up to, if not surpassed, the hype. Yes, it did happen.
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LCD Soundsystem setlist:
Us v Them
Yr Citys A Sucker
Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
All I Want
All My Friends
I Can Change
Yeah (Crass Version)
Losing My Edge
New York, I Love You But Youre Bringing Me Down