I’m not really sure how much I can write about this show. It was an utterly amazing experience and something I will remember for the rest of my life, but I’m not sure how to have that translate over into words on a blog. While it was a surreal day as a whole, I’ll keep this post to just the show. I don’t think you really want to hear about my confusion on the 1:30 a.m. bus ride home about what state I was in.
Anna and I arrived at Terminal 5 pretty close to 6 p.m. to meet up with Lowden and other friends Ashlee and Sean for a night to remember. We went through will call, got frisked pretty thoroughly and made it inside where we were ushered to the roof deck in overcast and rainy New York. Then close to 6:30, the doors were opened and we descended down into the depths of Terminal 5, where we staked out a floor spot in the middle and milled around, checking our coats, buying $1 water bottles to get hydrated, and just waiting for the show to start.
Shit Robot took the stage at 7:30, and while I’m not totally into electronic music, I danced about with the crowd and enjoyed the DFA artist’s jams. It was a great way to get warmed up, but you could tell that the crowd was waiting for James Murphy to appear. Nancy Whang came out and performed her song “Take ‘Em Up,” which was met enthusiastically from the crowd. Later songs in the set featured Murphy appearing on a video board and members of Hot Chip. Murphy’s appearance was met with enthusiasm and just got everyone more excited for the rest of the night.
Shit Robot finished promptly at 8:30 and then it was a half-hour wait for the moment everyone was waiting for: LCD Soundsystem. The band stuck to the blueprint that had been laid out for most of the week, opening with “Dance Yrself Clean,” “Drunk Girls,” and “I Can Change,” three of the best tracks from This Is Happening. Right before the end of the intro of “Dance Yrself Clean,” Murphy looked at the crowd and stuck his finger in his ears as the band just exploded into noise. From then on, it was a non-stop dance party for the rest of the first set, dancing through other jams like “Time To Get Away,” “Get Innocuous!” and “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House.” The crowd was into it, with crowdsurfing panda bears during “Drunk Girls.” Finally, in epic catharsis, Murphy and co. closed the first set with a rousing rendition of “All My Friends,” to which the crowd went absolutely nuts.
After the first intermission break, Murphy was joined by Reggie Watts on stage for part of “45:33,” and then Murphy took a backseat, showcasing the band’s chops as it powered through other parts of “45:33” and then the choir on “Sound of Silver.” LCD closed this funkier, pulled back set with “Freak Out/Starry Eyes,” and it was on to another intermission.
Out of the break, the energy was amped back up with “Us V Them,” “North American Scum,” “You Wanted A Hit,” “Tribulations,” “Movement,” and “Yeah.” The crowd was starting to fade, but everyone tried to keep the momentum going in this set and I moshed over to a good spot to the right and pretty much just set up camp. The sweating was getting even more intense and dehydration felt like it was going to start becoming a problem. The bouncers were up on the rail pouring water into people’s mouths in the front while passing out water bottles to the crowd and spraying the crowd as well.
One of the most surreal moments of the night and one I will always remember was in the instrumental outro to “Yeah,” where green and white strobes were going off the charts and security was spraying the crowd with water in full force. A nice couple next to me offered me the remnants of the water bottle they’d gotten and passed it over to me, something I am still extremely grateful for. The combination of the waters and strobes was just too amazing. I still find myself saying “Wow” when I think about that.
The first encore — “Someone Great,” “Losing My Edge,” “Home” — was perfect. Three great staples of the LCD catalog. Murphy’s performance of “Someone Great” solidified it as my favorite LCD Soundsystem song ever, although it really is a close race. The emotion in the crowd started to build during these three songs, as it started to dawn on us all that this was going to be the end.
The band disappeared from stage for a few minutes before coming back for a three song encore. I was always sort of lukewarm on “All I Want,” but it finally clicked with me, and at just the right time, too. The guitar lines on this song are just enthralling, a pure drone. I was a little thrown by the Harry Nilsson cover (“Jump Into The Fire”) that they broke out next, but it was a rocking track and helped to set up the ultimate “New York, I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down.” Really, all there is to say about that track is that I teared up. It was so beautiful, yet so sad.
See you again soon, James Murphy.
Check out these videos and pictures. All were done by yours truly.