MANCHESTER’S infamous annual carnival season of dance, hip hop, drum and bass nights and more, Warehouse Project, returned this weekend, with a special preview performance by dance-punk pioneers, LCD Soundsystem.
After just two performances at festivals down South, this pair of gigs were LCD’s first full UK comeback shows in seven years.
The band were on stage for a full three hours Sunday evening, making their way through fifteen tracks from throughout their discography. It was something of a greatest hits set, as they opted to play only three tracks from their recent comeback record, American Dream.
The two night residency lead LCD to choose slightly different setlists each day; the packed-out Project was filled with diehards who appreciated this twin approach; many will have been at both gigs. There were some strange setlist exceptions though, notably Daft Punk Is Playing At My House and Losing My Edge, two of their biggest hits, neither of which made either setlist.
Regardless, the energy of the band’s music gets the crowd dancing, jumping and yelling along, even during their (often lengthy) contemplative, simmering build ups. Their slow burn approach to dance tracks makes the ultimate release, like in the synthy coda to penultimate track Dance Yrself Clean, that much more rewarding. Mosh pits seethe and wriggle throughout the floor as the band launch into a full-pelt, aggressive rhythm.
LCD Soundsystem were mega last night, even though it was rammed & couldn't see much except boy in front's back. Proper danced meself clean.
— Emily Morris (@MsEmilyMorris) September 18, 2017
LCD are a sight to behold on stage; lead singer and mastermind James Murphy casts a slightly awkward, slightly overweight, everyman figure that is in stark contrast to his unique voice and aggressive, young-man’s music. He seems most at home when singing his songs; there’s little between song chat and what there is, is more charmingly awkward than funny. Before the band leave pre-encore, he promises that they’ll return regardless of the crowd chanting with glee.
The rest of the band fill out the large Warehouse stage with an eye-catching array of instruments including cowbells, synth machines, keyboards and much more that help create LCD Soundsystem’s immersive, full sound.
By the time three hours have flown by, the band leave the stage unceremoniously; they came, the entertained, they conquered. After a fantastic comeback record and with a trail of blisteringly good shows behind them one thing is for sure: LCD Soundsystem are back. Hopefully, it won’t be another seven years before they return to Manchester.