LCD Soundsystem rocked the Pearl Tuesday night. Where were you?

This happened: James Murphy, apparent fan of the octagon
Photo: April Corbin

The Details

LCD Soundsystem
Four stars
The Pearl, October 12
Set List
01 “Dance Yrself Clean”
02 “Drunk Girls”
03 “Get Innocuous!”
04 “Yr City’s a Sucker”
05 “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House”
06 “I Can Change”
07 “All My Friends”
08 “You Wanted a Hit”
09 “Tribulations”
10 “Movement”
11 “Yeah”
12 “Someone Great”
13 “Losing My Edge”
14 “Home”
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A chat with LCD Soundsystem’s Nancy Whang (10/7/10)

“Where are your friends tonight?” James Murphy sang the words, but Tuesday’s crowd should have been asking itself the question. LCD Soundsystem, one of this era’s true top-tier indie acts (think: Coachella main stage leading into Jay-Z big), played the Pearl, and tons of seats went unused—despite a local website offering up free tickets in the days before the concert. What’s that cliché about leading a horse to good music?

Ah, but those who did show—specifically, a sizable throng squeezed onto the floor—helped turn the party manic, as band and fans batted sweat-soaked energy back and forth for LCD’s entire hour-and-45-minute set. “I’ve never been in this room before, but I’ve watched a whole lot of Ultimate Fighting that was happening right here,” said Murphy, a stocky 40-year-old who looks like he’d be more comfortable guzzling beers in a Vegas sports book than sipping Jameson in any Brooklyn bar. Make no mistake, though, the guy writes one helluva catchy tune, or, more accurately, crafts them—with genius beats, wily lyrics and an idiosyncratic blend of organic and electronic textures.

The singer/sometime percussionist and his six-piece band offered up 14 such examples, spanning the New York outfit’s early singles and three full-length albums. For the unfamiliar, opener “Dance Yrself Clean” nutshelled the experience, staying neat and compact for its first three minutes, then exploding with unseen force to sweep up everything in its path. Also highly danceable: intense renditions of past hits “All My Friends” and “Tribulations,” along with a version of recent single “I Can Change” that simulated what it must have been like to catch Depeche Mode in the mid-1980s. And, as satisfying as it might be hearing Murphy rattle off band names during hipster anthem “Losing My Edge” (on this night, complete with a few bars from Suicide’s “Ghost Rider”), for pure live delirium nothing beats “Yeah,” a song built on the powerful repetition of a single, simple word.

Openers Sleigh Bells, a boy/girl pair featuring live vocals and electric guitar set atop pre-recorded drum sounds, also fared well, blasting out noisy (read: ridiculously loud) numbers in front of an intimidating, black wall of Marshall stacks. Here’s hoping the Brooklyn duo will remember the scene from the Pearl floor, rather than the sparsely populated expanse behind it, when plotting its West Coast return.

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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