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LCD Soundsystem – Bristol Academy

May 19, 2010

In the midst of the build up to the release of their new album ‘This Is Happening’ LCD Soundsystem made a stop at the sold out O2 Academy. I arrived at venue at around 9pm, after having a drink in the wonderful Hatchet pub just across the road, and the venue is absolutely packed. It was mighty difficult to get down from the raised back area of the venue down the stairs and onto the floor, but eventually I made it.

The band took to the stage and was met with a reception usually reserved for returning heroes, and tonight that’s exactly what they were. It had been just over three years ago, before the release of the much acclaimed ‘Sound of Silver’, LCD Soundsystem had last played this venue and the Bristol crowd have clearly missed them. In March of 2007 when LCD Soundsystem last played here they were internet favourites, but hadn’t really captured the hearts and minds of the record buying public. Sound of Silver changed that, topping many ‘Best of ‘07’ lists all around the world, and rightly so in my opinion. In ’07 you could buy a ticket to see this gig on the door, tonight you were looking at paying double to a scalper outside the building if you wanted in. The long time fans knew what to expect, the rest were in for a party.

The band needed every inch of the stage to fit all the gear that it requires to make their trademark noise. James Murphy was clearly the star of the show though, taking very centre stage just in time to begin the vocals for set opener ‘Us v. Them’. It isn’t long before the crowd are dancing and Mr. Murphy and co, take all of us in the audience for a ride. The setlist is well crafted, mixing in old and new. All of the most well known songs from Sound of Silver and the self title debut album are played, the only major omission being ‘North American Scum’ but I didn’t feel the set especially suffered for it.

The new songs sounded good, but a little jarring when played alongside the older recognisable songs, this is the danger of touring shortly before the release of a new album. None of the new songs sounded like instant classics, but I suspect it was the more dancey numbers that got an airing tonight and it will be upon listening to the album itself that the gems will really show.

The band finished the main part of their set with ‘Yeah’ before returning for what I can only describe as the perfect encore of ‘Someone Great’, ‘Losing My Edge’ & ‘New York I Love You’. The closing performance of ‘New York I Love You’ sounded beautiful, James’ voice somewhat strained only added to the emotion. The set closer featured a brief interlude with them playing some of Jay Z & Alicia Key’s ‘Empire State of Mind’ before the last verse of ‘NY I Love You’. The crowd was sent home buzzing, and it should be the last gig the band play here, then it was a very fitting end.

Setlist:

Us v. Them

Drunk Girls

Get Innocuous

Yr City’s A Sucker

Daft Punk is Playing at my House

Pow Pow

All My Friends

I Can Change

Tribulations

Movement

Yeah

Encore:

Someone Great

Losing My Edge

New York I love You But You’re Bringing Me Down

Click the link below for the setlist as a Spotify playlist:

LCD Soundsystem – Bristol Academy 02/05/10

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