On The List :: LCD Soundsystem @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
James Murphy comes to the stage last with a little yin-and-yang advice. "There's good news and there's bad news," he says, staring into the stage lights. The crowd claps furiously, curiously. "The good news is we're here." Music Hall is reaching a fever pitch. "The bad news is I'm wasted," Murphy finishes his home-coming haiku. It's all true; they are here and the leader of LCD Soundsystem is comically, fantasically drunk. He finally adds, "This isn't really a show ... This is just ... us, playing for our friends."
The first half of the set features "Us V Them" and newest radio-single, "Drunk Girls," but the story is more Murphy's between-song narration. He tells us that this is the longest time the band has ever had between shows. He struggles through the passive voice in much the same way as the writer of the previous sentence. He also tells us this two, three, four, and five times. The crowd cuts him a break; he's drinking whiskey and champagne, he tells us, from a water bottle brought by a part-time guitarist, part-time sideline supporter at stage right. Did he mention that this is the longest break between shows in LCD Soundsystem history? Yes. "This isn't a show," he repeats, "this is us learning to be a band again." James Murphy is drunk.
Of course, it would be easy to focus on his drunkness and ignore the night's most important moments. "All My Friends" was typically propulsive, with a back-lit Murphy standing on a stage monitor and screaming, with the crowd, "WHERE ARE YOUR FRIENDS TONIGHT?" You simply haven't lived until you've seen this live. The band departs after playing some material from their first sets of single releases, "Losing My Edge" and "Yeah."
Murphy tells us they don't do encores when the band returns. He says, "Encores are for other places, not where we live. Encores are for places where people think we're something we're not." They play "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House," "Someone Great," and classsic, vaguely eponymous closer, "New York, I Love You." Murphy will play with the words a little, leaving out the most important one; "New York, I love you, oh don't change a thing."