LCD Soundsystem

Artist: LCD Soundsystem
Date: 27 April
Venue: O2 Academy Leeds
Review: Tom Killingbeck
Rating: ****

The O2 is rammed full of a heady mixture of towering bald men and miniature indie kids, which shows the broad spectrum of James Murphy’s appeal.

Touring for new (and purportedly final) LP ‘This Is Happening’, DFA figureheads cover the stage as the band kick into ‘Get Innocuous!’ and send the venue into a smorgasbord of dance spasms. A swirling disco ball fills the venue with stars and light as the audience is sucked into hot, slick, rhythmic grooves.

Murphy, at nearly 40, with trademark baggy white t-shirt and faltering crowd repartee is the perfect leader, affable and completely overtaken by his music, backed by a diverse crew. Gavin Russom resembles a hairy synth wizard from the techno wilderness, commandeering an impressive array of modular equipment from the rear of the stage, while Pat Mahoney is the perfect dance drummer, relentlessly injecting intense amounts of funk into the sometimes samba-like percussive efforts.

Murphy, free from the confines of his studio hermitage, seems liberated by the live environment, careering about the stage and connecting with the audience in a way unexpected since reports of the totalitarian, mansion-based and white-suited new record. The new songs sound fantastic – ‘Drunk Girls’ is ecstatically received, its brief glam-pop out of sync with lengthier works such as ‘All I Want’.

When burning calling-card ‘Someone Great’ comes along – perhaps the band’s greatest song – the audience becomes more static. Maybe it’s because of the jaw-dropping emotion of the tune, its low-key lyrics and haunting synth lines create a raw human power that isn’t present elsewhere. As we finish on an anthemic ‘New York, I Love You…’, there are plenty of people here hoping that this isn’t the last tour, and that Murphy’s got many more records in him.

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