Reviewed: LCD Soundsystem at Warehouse Project
LCD Soundsystem are reunited and back on top form. This weekend they played not one, but two, sold-out shows at Manchester’s Warehouse Project to mark their UK debut of ‘American Dream’. Frontman James Murphy and his gang took to the stage for two hours of classic hits and new masterpieces in a performance that exceeded any expectations.
The energy was palpable as we arrived at Store Street, flooding the entrances were crowds of people with an infectious sense of excitement. Having never been to a WHP show, I didn’t really know what to expect from the venue, but it seemed a lot more intimate. We grabbed a couple of drinks, got familiar with the space and secured a spot at the front of the stage, and by chance, directly underneath James Murphy’s microphone when he rocked up on stage.
Before the monumental LCD set, we were treated to some funky techno courtesy of DFA’s Shit Robot, before Joe Goddard warmed everyone up. The prolific producer, member of Hot Chip, the 2 Bears, Grammy nominated remixer and Greco-Roman label founder brought his own flavour to things with light-drenched techno heaven with the spellbinding Valentine on vocals.
Then the time had come, it was time for the band to reassemble. After announcing their split, selling out Madison Square Gardens for their final tour in 2011, then making a triumphant return with the jaw-droppingly brilliant ‘American Dream’, it’s fair to say that this LCD superfan was very, very excited. The lights drew down, the band entered and the crowd went wild.
Opening up with ‘Get Innocuous’, we were thrown into a haze of glaring lights, ear-splitting sounds and reverberating synths. The wall-to wall throng of people exploded into dance as the brilliantly loud party kicked off. The band was on point, Murphy was giving it his all, there was a sense of passion and coming together in the air, it was exactly what was needed for a reunion.
Onto the next, the singalong favourite ‘I Can Change’, the immediately recognisable hit was greeted with sheer delight, before launching into the exhilarating new classic ‘Call the Police’. The politically-charged, multi-tracked harmonies and Murphy’s angsty voice met with a heavy bass and guitar feedback sounded magic through the sound system.
Then followed a wonderfully eclectic set of mesmerizingly nostalgic old hits and fresh, new sounds. The mood turned sombre as ‘New York I love you, but You’re Bringing Me Down’ started, the crowd turned into waves as we swayed and sang along to the heartful ballad. Murphy then announced to the crowd that the band would take a short toilet break- it always helps to be honest with your audience I guess.
Feeling ready and refreshed, they climbed back on stage as ‘Spanish Flea’ faded out, and threw us all back into things with ‘Emotional Haircut’, then a personal highlight, the absolutely stupendous ‘Dance Yrself Clean’. The build-up to the chorus was met with anticipation and then rapturous applause, the crowd, and myself, all shouting along as Murphy completely let loose and gave it his all.
Ending their set with ‘All My Friends’, another fan favourite, and going out with a bang, it seemed fitting that they then played Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’. All in all, it felt like a truly magical experience. The band was back and tighter than ever, Murphy was giving it everything, and the crowd was overwhelmingly excitable, in a setting where the sound was astounding. Nothing really does compare.