The most anticipated weekend of the year for Southern Californian electronica fans finally arrived this past weekend: the arrival of everyone’s favorite dance punk eight member group LCD Soundsystem. With the release of their fourth studio album American Dream this past September and their recent reunion as a band only a few years ago, the announcement of their 2017 tour was eagerly discussed by long time fans for months in advance. What made this tour particularly special was the addition of multiple night residencies in bigger cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and of course, New York City, where LCD got their start. Rather than selling out huge amphitheaters like most chart topping artists, LCD Soundsystem made sure to make their performances more intimate this tour by booking smaller hometown venues that would allow everyone in attendance to have the best experience possible. For Southern California, the venue chosen was none other than the historic Hollywood Palladium, known for housing the world’s biggest artists and its special circular architecture, allowing everyone to dance in the GA pit.
Fans started flooding the venue when doors opened at 7 PM and were greeted with the perfect LCD opener: a DJ set by an anonymous artist. It was very fitting since James Murphy, front man, songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist, used to work at a record shop and would spin the latest and greatest for his friends and at parties when first getting into the music scene. Even Nancy Wang, vocalist and keyboardist, and Tyler Pope, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, regularly perform DJ sets in clubs and produce remixes of popular tracks. The DJ on stage this night gave the audience all of his energy. He made sure to pay respects to all different genres of electronic and rock respectively, and even ended the set with a nod to LCD Soundsystem, mixing in their new single “pulse (v.1)” for all to enjoy.
When 9 PM hit, the venue was at maximum capacity in anticipation for the real party to begin. LCD Soundsystem performances are renown for having an incredible amount of energy, from the audience especially, and it was obvious that the anticipation from the crowd was building to almost a breaking point by the time the lights went down. The famous build up for “Get Innocuous!” blasted through the speakers, and long time fans screamed in sheer excitement. A common track used as an opener for their shows, this formula proved perfect in order to get the party started. This transitioned straight into “Daft Punk is Playing at My House,” everyone’s favorite house party track. These perfect transitions continued all night, whether it was the transition between the new album banger “Tonite” to fan favorite “Home” or bitter punk “I Used To” to deep cut “You Wanted a Hit.” LCD made sure to give a nod to their first studio album by performing “Tribulations” and “Movement,” tracks people rarely think they would hear live now with four albums under their belt. LCD switched it up as well with a Chic cover of “I Want Your Love,” complimented by Nancy Wang’s lead vocals.
Besides the unique set lists they create for each night of the residencies, the set design and overall interactions with the audience are always memorable. The huge disco ball which shines during hits such as “Home” is a hallmark of LCD Soundsystem performances that is always something to look forward to and adds a special touch to each night. It is also astounding to see all of the machinery used on stage to create the special LCD sound. There is barely any room on stage to move around, so each member of the group has their own special place, allowing for the complexity of their music to really shine. James Murphy has his own awkward, yet endearing, way of interacting with the audience during shows, for example informing everyone that they are “just doing their job” and telling the audience they shouldn’t use their phones since it “distracts [him] from remembering the lyrics.” With such large fandom, these random conversations seem to humble everyone in attendance, making all remember that they are human, just like the rest of us.
They ended their set on a sentimental note with “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down,” but informed us all before the end of the set that, yes, they will indeed be back for an encore, so no need for useless chanting. They were soon back for more with the first track off their new album “Oh Baby,” and ended the night with all time LCD favorites “Dance Yrself Clean” and “All My Friends,” leaving everyone screaming the famous last words, “If I could see all my friends tonight.”
With everyone hugging and chatting excitedly when the concert finally ended, it was obvious that the second night of the Hollywood Palladium residency was a massive success, and would continue to be for the rest of the residency. Be sure now to check out the rest of their tour; the next stop is in Canada where they will be performing in Montreal and Toronto on December 2nd and 3rd. After that, they are hitting the East Coast and ending their US tour in New York City for a TEN (!) night residency at Brooklyn Steel during the month of December. You don’t want to miss this.
Photos by: @rhivanz
Disclaimer: Photography was taken the first night of the residency (Friday, November 17th) while the live review is of the second night of the residency (Saturday, November 18th).