LIVE at the Alexandra Palace
There's a T -shirt for sale at the merchandise stall tonight that has the lyrics to LCD Soundsystem's debut single 'Losing My Edge' on it, as well as, curiously, a cartoon of a bear's face.
It's a joyous reminder of how LCD Soundsystem introduced themselves in 2002 with a song that took an hilarious swipe at music snobbery. James Murphy's lyrics and delivery were a droll delight, the music was a fabulous hybrid of electronic dance and rock music. There then followed three outstanding albums but, in 2011, it was all over.
Did those lyrics to Losing My Edge prove prophetic for Murphy? Was he the cartoon bear wearily calling time on the band?
Whatever Murphy's tribulations may have been back then, the bands return this year has been euphoric, the album 'American Dream' shows him inhabiting a darker place but still displaying a sharp and mordant wit.
Tonight the band enter the stage as the closing strains of Shit Robot's DJ set is still vibrating through the hall. They launch into a propulsive rendition of 'Us and Them' and it feels like a homecoming anthem, the chant of 'the time has come, the time has come today' feels like a celebration of the bands connection with their audience.
'I Can Change' follows, with Murphy pleading for atonement amidst an explosion of strobe lights and gleaming mirror balls. It's an eye scorching, heart felt experience.
'Get Innocuous', their most Kraftwerk-esque number, is an mesmerising highlight and then the new songs, 'Call The Police' and 'I Used To', have the crowd singing every word as if they've always known them. There's an ecstatic response to the current single ''Tonite', the vocodered backing vocals suggesting that Daft Punk may still be playing at Murphy's house.
The encore include the underwhelming LCD-by-numbers new song 'Emotional Haircut' and an invigorating version of 'Dance Yrself Clean' before, as ever, closing with the communal celebration of 'All My Friends'.
It's a rousing and timely note to end on. LCD Soundsystem are back, having lost none of their edge.
Jay Lewis is a Birmingham based music, movie and arts obsessive. Jay's encyclopedic knowledge of 80s/90s Arts films is a debt to his embedded status in the Triangle Arts Centre trenches back then.
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