"The best laid plans of mice and men," James Murphy told the audience at LCD Soundsystem's first live show in five years. "Or, the worst idea to build a modular synthesizer and hope it works no matter what the temperature." This is Happening single "I Can Change" was supposed to be song #2, but the custom-built synth was not behaving. Or as Nancy Whang put it, "This is why we have warm-up shows."
This was definitely a loosey-goosey first show for the band -- who have a full slate of festivals and other dates ahead of them -- but overall, LCD Soundsystem seemed like no time was lost between now and that "farewell" show at Madison Square Garden (which was almost five years ago to the day). The crowd was not worried one iota about technical difficulties, and the applause after opening song "Get Innocuous" was deafening. The "I Can Change" glitch did deflate that momentum a bit but the band instead launched into "Daft Punk is Playing at My House" and they had the crowd back with them and for the rest of the night. It was interesting to watch Gavin Russom (whose setup looked like a set from a '70s sci-fi film) and occasional eighth member Matt Thornely work furiously to get that modular synth up and running, while still playing their parts. Webster Hall was bouncing for most of the night with a hit-filled, two-hour set that included nearly all of LCD's best bangers ("I Can Change" which would've been played, and maybe "Yr City's a Sucker" being most notably absent).
The one thing I would've liked from this warm-up show would've been a new song -- having signed with Columbia, they're working on a fourth LP -- but this was a welcome return. The set included both "Losing My Edge" and "New York, I Love You" which didn't feature reworked lyrics, so much as live footnotes from Murphy to bring them up to 2016. The band's encore of "Dance Yourself Clean" and "All My Friends" had the whole place bouncing. Technical glitches aside, they sounded great and will clearly be a much tighter outfit by the time Panorama comes around.
Tim Sweeney DJ'd for an hour before the band took the stage slighty after 10 PM. LCD will play another warm-up gig Monday night (3/28), which is sold out (the on-sale crashed Ticketweb)..but if it's like Sunday, there were some tickets available at the door.
Setlist and a few more instagrams and videos, below.
SETLIST: LCD Soundsystem @ Webster Hall 3/27/2016
Daft Punk Is Playing at My House
Us v Them
You Wanted a Hit
Losing My Edge
New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down
Dance Yrself Clean
All My Friends