To Die By Your Side

LCD Soundsystem – Birmingham Academy 26/04/2010

April 28th, 2010

It’s a shame it’s a Monday night. For LCD Soundsystem are undoubtedly a Friday night band. The kind of act who release you from the shackles of the working week. Infusing you with the need to dance off whatever hassles have ailed your week and embrace the joy of two days away from the office. Shame it’s a Monday night. Not that something as trivial as a day can stop James Murphy and co from getting their groove on. If an erupting volcano can’t stop them getting to the gig, then the start of the week hasn’t got a hope of holding them back. Hell, not even ongoing technical difficulties or illness can stop them tonight.

Not that either is particularly apparent. When the gremlins strike, they barely disrupt the show, while James Murphy’s fever neither quells his enthusiasm nor his energy levels. If either problem affects the performance onstage, it’s barely noticeable down in the crowd. Eager anticipation buzzes through the audience. An air of expectation that the band live up to their live reputation. It’s fair to say they don’t disappoint. For the most part anyway.

Older songs fair better than those off ‘This Is Happening’. You can virtually plot the impact of each song by the crowd’s reaction and sheer amount of dancing. Unsurprisingly it’s the old favourites that register the biggest response. The opening trio of ‘Get Innocuous’, ‘Us v Them’ and ‘Daft Punk Is Playing At My House’ send the crowd into a dancing frenzy. Throbbing with intensity, the former builds to a stunning moment of euphoric release, the latter sounding harder and punker than ever. Momentum lulls a little during the slightly underwhelming plod of ‘Yr City’s A Sucker’, while ‘Pow Pow’ suffers from its relative unfamiliarity. Though surely destined to become a favourite in their live set, tonight it sounds a little pedestrian compared to the set’s early adrenaline rush.

‘Drunk Girls’ rescues things a little, it’s urgency buoying the atmosphere once again. It is however a tad sloppy, never quite achieving the dumb shout along crowd rousing potential it clearly possesses. No such problems with ‘All My Friends’. Its relentless driving rhythm sending waves of unabashed adulation through the crowd. Energy levels rise and all around people embrace the nature of the song as closely as they embrace each another. ‘I Can Change’ provides a brief chance for a breather, taking as it does a long time to go nowhere, before the band finish with a second trio of unremittingly intense oldies, peaking with a riotous version of ‘Yeah’.

Sweating out his fever and battling through a brief minor technical problem, James Murphy and band return for a four song encore. ‘Someone Great’ sounds great, all pulsing beats and 80s keyboards. ‘Losing My Edge’ is simply stunning, while ‘All I Want’ is both as enjoyable and unnecessary as a reworking of Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ is ever going to be. With a surprisingly tough run through of ‘New York, I Love You’ rounding things off with a pounding finale, LCD Soundsystem bid us goodnight. Exhausted and exhilarated, we head home on a high, feeling like the party has only just started. Shame it’s a Monday night.

Setlist: Get Innocuous! / Us v Them / Daft Punk Is Playing At My House / Yr City’s a Sucker / Pow Pow / Drunk Girls / All My Friends / I Can Change / Tribulations / Movement / Yeah / Encore: Someone Great / Losing My Edge / All I Want / New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down

LCD Soundsystem – all my friends (live version) original version available on ‘Sound Of Silver’

Filed Under Live Review, Music

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