LCD Soundsystem will be remembered as one of the quintessential bands of the aughts. Looking both forward and backward, frontman James Murphy and co. reimagined the New York music scenes of the 1970’s and 1980’s for the new millennium. Alongside The Strokes and Interpol, LCD ushered in the New York rock scene in the early 2000’s; however, their discography remains much more consistent--especially with their latest album American Dream.
But to know the band’s importance and acclaim is not necessary to understand why they are regarded as current leaders of the indie scene--not as long as you were in Atlanta Saturday night. LCD’s set at the Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre could have been your first introduction to the band’s blend of post-punk and dance, but when the second half of “Dance Yrself Clean” dropped you would know why and how they cast such a shadow over music today.
As LCD took the stage, the band performed American Dream’s intro track, “oh baby.” Being one of the more melancholic performances of the evening, it was as if the group took a deep breath before sonically charging the audience with “Call the Police,” “I Can Change,” and “Get Innocuous.” From this point on, the pit transformed into a mobbed dance floor, as the band played standouts from their all four of their albums while standing under an oversized disco ball.
LCD Soundsystem play at the Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre
Murphy stood front and center while veteran members Nancy Whang and Pat Mahoney took the front of the stage as well. Behind them, analog synths towered which various members twiddled and fidgeted looking like 1960’s switchboard operators.
Not much of an eccentric and energetic frontman, Murphy’s demeanor always seemed more like that of your cool uncle--shy, self-aware, witty, and sincere. Saturday, beginning halfway through the set, he repeatedly assured the audience that they were only taking an encore break so that he could pee but would be coming back out afterward.
As Murphy and the other members returned from peeing, they launched into the band’s debut single, “Losing my Edge,” before playing American Dream standout “Emotional Haircut." LCD closed their set with two fan favorites, the aforementioned “Dance Yrself Clean” and the classic “All My Friends” as thousands danced to Murphy lamenting his mid-life crisis.
After LCD Soundsystem said goodnight and left the stage and the house lights came on, the crowd poured out into the street. A man in his early thirties came up to my friend and me and mentioned he came alone but he didn’t feel like he did. In a moment of drunken poignancy, he told us “When you’re dancing, there’s no way you can feel alone.”