May 11, 2007
Volume 35
Issue 19
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Saturday, Dec 05, 2020



LCD Soundsystem simply mindblowing at The Showbox
LCD Soundsystem simply mindblowing at The Showbox
by Jessica Browning - SGN A&E Writer

LCD Soundsystem May 2 @ The Showbox

James Murphy, aka LCD Soundsystem, has hands down been the most talked about electro-rock prodigy of the last few years. As if the 2005 Grammy-nominated debut album wasn't enough, a much-hyped headlining tour left legions of converted babbling about how LCD's local date was one of the best gigs to hit Seattle in recent memory. Still, somehow I managed to not completely see the light until long afterwards. I liked the debut album quite a bit, but it took the absolute perfection of 2007's Sound Of Silver to turn me into a fanatic. Last week's mind-blowing performance was enough to blow the doors off The Showbox, and it felt like it very nearly did.

LCD Soundsystem, led by singer/producer Murphy, perform as a six-piece with guitarist/percussionist Al Doyle, Phil Skarich on bass, Pat Mahoney on drums, and the fantastic Nancy Whang on keyboards and synthesizers. Whang, who lends memorable vocals to tracks such as "North American Scum", is an underrated force in the band. She's a diminutive, enigmatic lady with a keen focus, not to mention an impressive vocal style of her own.

One of the first things that struck me was how much more like a "rock" band LCD sounds live. On recordings, there's the misleading impression that this is could be a one-man show. In person, these six click so perfectly that when they catch onto a hook all you can do is hold on for dear life. It's a pulsating fusion of rock and dance that must be seen to be believed. Everything you've heard is true. LCD Soundsystem is one of the best concerts I've been to this year.

From the opening beats of "Us V Them", The Showbox was a mass of ecstatic bodies caught up in the music and not caring whether or not there was work the next day or a hangover to follow. Immediately on its heels came the hit single "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House" and "Watch The Tapes". "All My Friends" was so intense that I spotted at least three or four couples spontaneously making out, overcome by the joy-filled music and perhaps reminiscent of nights spent at all night parties.

It's not so much that the heavy-set Murphy is a crazed front man, but his direct vocal style fused with five other musicians translates to a very physical audience reaction. Another thumping masterpiece was "Tribulations", as well as the pogo-inspiring "Yeah". Both albums were represented evenly, with the polish of Murphy's arrangements making everything shimmer and shake simultaneously. "Someone Great", an affecting song clearly written about the loss of a loved one, felt so personal that I felt lucky to see it performed in front of an audience. The night ended with the timely, soothing send-off "New York I Love You" beneath a rotating disco ball.

Friends who saw the last Seattle gig said this performance topped it- a near impossible task. Tellingly, Sound of Silver's delivery seems to be just slightly more thought out and carefully chosen than the debut- as if in the two years between records and countless tour dates, Murphy and company had ample time for reflection and honing their craft. The experience has paid off. LCD Soundsystem has what it takes to be a singular, great band. In future years, these records will still be referenced in the same way that New Order and Brian Eno are hailed as classics today.

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