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LCD Soundsystem live review: Murphy & Co dazzle at the LA Palladium

The opening DJ cuts out and, right on cue, the crowd goes wild before tapering back down to a silent reverence and collective anticipation. It’s the final night of LCD Soundsystem’s marathon five-night, sold-out tour stop at the iconic Hollywood Palladium and, judging by the intensity of the the crowd, they’re wishing they could have LCD Soundsystem for another five nights. After all, this is the band that threatened a farewell tour only a few years ago.

Without preface, the seven-piece band slams into a cacophonous, heavy rock introduction for ‘Losing My Edge’. James Murphy roars into the mic before the recognizable melody of the song takes form and the crowd’s rapt attention morphs into euphoric recognition. The irony of it all is not lost on the crowd as they watch the now 47-year old front man lead them into hysterics. It’s a surprising song to open with for a fan-base that has lately come to expect ‘Oh Baby’, ‘Us vs Them’ and occasionally ‘Get Innocuous’ to be the opening track. James Murphy has not lost his edge.

“LCD shook things up for the final night and the crowd was all for it.”

As if to continue the irony and comment on the song before it, the band wastes no time leading in to their anthemic hit ‘I Can Change’. Not that they need to try harder (or change) for this sold-out crowd of doting fans, but LCD, the overachievers that they are, have altered their tracklisting again from the night before. It’s a trait that has become synonymous to their style: a predictable unpredictability to the order of their set. Of course, they kept most of their hits at the forefront, but LCD Soundsystem shook things up for the final night and the crowd was all for it.

Testament to any band’s skill is their ability to get the notoriously jaded VIP section to dance, and LCD had the VIP-ers practically convulsing on the hand rails. On the cusp of a mosh that was threatening to happen throughout ‘Tonight’, a newer track off ‘American Dream’, was the reminder that even through their disco and electronic sensibilities, this is a band that can go just as hard as any rock band.

“Before leaving the stage, Murphy reassured fans with the cheeky promise, “this is not an encore, it’s just a pee break.”

But never straying too far from their roots, they dove into another fan favorite ‘Home’ right into a Nancy Whang-led rendition of Chic classic ‘I Want Your Love’. Before leaving the stage, Murphy reassured fans with the cheeky promise, “this is not an encore, it’s just a pee break.” It was a consoling thought for anyone not prepared to end their night of LCD.

True to his word, the band returned to the stage with a rousing rendition of the much-awaited ‘Oh Baby’ and, rather than end with the classics ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ and ‘All My Friends’, the group inserted the wildcard choice ‘Emotional Haircut’ into the mix to prolong the encore that much more.

Despite their five-day run, even LCD Soundsystem was unwilling to leave the spotlight at the end of the set. It was a communal sentiment shared by the crowd and band alike. As the house lights turned on to signal the inarguable end to the night, the reverent applause and roars still echoed throughout the Palladium’s halls.

No, LCD Soundsystem have certainly not lost their edge.

Photo credit Michelle Shiers

Words by Shea Kopp

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