April 2010 – Along with widespread economic disruptions, that volcano put a stop to one of the most anticipated gigs of the year. Bands, acts and musicians are stranded all over Europe and New York dance-punksters LCD Soundsystem forego their Irish dates in order to keep the rest of the tour on track. A major disappointment to fans as this tour is being touted as the last one LCD will ever play, with rumours of James Murphy disbanding the group to concentrate on DFA production duties.
September 2010 – The Electric Arena in Stradbally is packed to the rafters as Murphy & Co. deliver a rousing performance that goes some way to making up to the fans for the cancelled spring gigs. However, Murphy’s voice is battle-worn from months of touring and the gig is hardly what you would call intimate. An LCD festival slot is a great show but time constraints and outdoor arenas are a challenge for any act.
November 2010 – The IMF may be on the lash around the corner in the Merrion Hotel but it’s Friday night and for many the months of waiting to see LCD in a proper venue are over. Fresh from a co-headlining tour of the UK with Hot Chip (who did not come over to join the party – we must owe them money), LCD have packed out the first of a three night stint in Dublin’s Tripod and there is a palpable air of excitement. Home town hero Shit Robot is playing his unique blend of electro-house though, unfortunately, many are oblivious to the DJ box. Instead, the crowd seem to use this time to catch up and shake off a tough week. But their focus soon changes.
LCD Soundsystem arrive onto the dimly-lit stage and immediately launch into the pulsating, beat-driven ‘Dance Yrself Clean’. Frenzied dancing breaks out amid a jostle for prime dancefloor positions. Ripping through the hits ‘Drunk Girls’, ‘Get Innocuous’ and ‘I Can Change’, the vast catalogue of fantastic tunes they have at their disposal unfolds, and by the time the anthemic ‘Daft Punk Is Playing At My House’ is played the crowd is a heaving sweaty mess.
James Murphy is one of those indie heros. As one of the world’s most popular frontmen he is fairly coy when it comes to the audience banter; his lyrics do the talking. However he disses the aforementioned volcano and at times appears overwhelmed by the audience reaction – and with good reason. This is one of the most up-for-it crowds State has seen all year. Promoters and bands already know this but the difference a weekend date makes to the atmosphere is immeasurable, though it does help to have one of the most exciting hit-laden bands in the world.
And those hits keep coming. ‘Someone Great’ finds the stage abuzz with activity; two drummers, bass player, singer, guitarist and Nancy Wang – always the coolest woman in the room. The set closes with a reflective ‘New York I Love You’ which segues nicely in the Eno classic ‘By This River’, a fitting end to what has been a very memorable show. LCD have managed to do what only the truly great live acts can do, make an entire audience forget about all the doom and gloom surrounding our little country by transporting them to an uber-cool New York loft party where everyone is on the guest list.
Photo: Quique López