LCD Soundsystem’s current Brooklyn Steel residency is a knockout (Night 9 review, setlist)
When the giant disco ball lit up for the first time, about three minutes into opening number "Us v Them," the crowd at Brooklyn Steel erupted in applause, all 'woos" and arms aloft. It was Friday night and everyone in the place seemed as lit as the glittering orb hanging over LCD Soundsystem, and they were ready to dance. And then, in the song's chorus -- "Cloud, block out the sun!" -- the back wall of the stage lit up with thousands of golden-hued lights, a furnace blast like the sun itself was behind them. It was an early wow in a night that had many of them.
I've seen LCD Soundsystem upwards of 20 times over the last two decades and when the current 20-show run was announced I will admit to being not overly motivated to go this time. But I'm very glad I went Friday night, as they have really stepped it up for their "residency" shows this year, delivering what felt like a festival headline set production -- two hours of great songs, great playing, amazing sound and lights, and more than a little razzle dazzle. This was easily one of the best LCD shows I've seen them play.
That wall of gold lights behind them is an especially inspired touch that allowed for a lot of nuance. They would blast them all on full, usually in tandem with blast of low synths (like on "Someone Great"), but it could also playfully mirror more subtle musical moments, like the high keyboard accents in "I Can Change." At the end of "New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down," the Manhattan skyline emerged for a lovely sunset moment as the last chord faded.
Apart from a few points where they rotate songs in and out, the LCD setlist is pretty fixed, which makes for some pretty pleasing, clever moments. In the home stretch of the main set, "Someone Great" melts into "Losing My Edge" and, on Friday at least, the transition featured an instrumental interpolation of New Order's "Your Silent Face." Speaking of "Losing My Edge", it has become even more of a fun crowd pleaser in its current live version, with Murphy reworking the lyrics and the band dropping in a bit of Daft Punk -- "ROBOT ROCK" flashes in those gold lights to much applause -- and features a Nancy Whang spotlight moment working in a chunk of Yaz's "Don't Go."
Folks seemed mostly there for LCD's crowd-pleasers from Sound of Silver and This is Happening, the millenial whoop whoa-ohs of "Dance Yrself Clean" and the melancholic bliss of "All My Friends," but the band seemed to be having the most fun with their older, more dance-punk material like "Tribulations" and "Movement" which devolved into a wild punk noise sensory overload with the strobes and all. Al Doyle is especially good at Gang of Four-style angular guitar slashing and was ripping it up all night, but the whole band -- all eight of them -- were in great form, dialed in and feeding off the crowd's energy. "Maybe we don't do hits," Murphy sings in "You Wanted a Hit" (which they played) but it's clear they've got lots of them.
- As they did on Wednesday, the four-song encore opened with their cover of The Human League's "Seconds," which fits perfectly into LCD's style and sounded great. Murphy said he was excited they'd finally started playing it live.
- "New Body Rhumba," their new song from Noah Baumbach's White Noise, fit right in with their rest of their catalogue and the audience seemed to know it. It came in the set after two songs from 2017's American Dream: "Tonite" and the album's dreamy, glacial title track which sounded fantastic at Brooklyn Steel.
- Sound in general was stellar, clear and loud. Very very loud. Like Motorhead loud.
- "All My Friends" is a little overplayed for me at this point but there's no denying it being their permanent set-closer, especially when 2000 people are bouncing in unison. Same with "New York, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down," I always forget how much of a rock song it becomes at the end and with their current light show it was a highlight of the night.
- Unlike previous Brooklyn Steel runs, the giant discoball is over the band on stage, not over the middle of the crowd.
- Doors are at 7 PM and a DJ plays till they take the stage, usually around 9:15 PM. Friday's DJ was Marcus Lambkin, aka Shit Robot.
- Friday night's walk-on music was Ace Frehley's "N.Y. Groove" which they've used before and Al Doyle really hammed it up, to its power chords, hyping the crowd up nicely. Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" played immediately after the show as the crowd filtered out.
LCD Soundsystem have 11 Brooklyn Steel shows left, including tonight. Tickets are available. If you've been on the fence this time around, I say go. Check out Friday's setlist and a few fan-shot videos and pics, below.
SETLIST: LCD Soundsystem @ Brooklyn Steel 12/2/2022
Us v Them
I Can Change
You Wanted a Hit
new body rhumba
Time to Get Away
Losing My Edge
Seconds (The Human League cover)
New York, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down
Dance Yrself Clean
All My Friends