LCD Soundsystem @ Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, Wednesday 26 July 2017
Header image by Timothy Lambert
He cut an innocuous figure in grey t-shirt and black jeans, but James Murphy could have been a benevolent cult leader as he captained Margaret Court Arena on a tour of LCD Soundsystem’s heart-crushing and -lifting catalogue last night.
Standing at the front of a stage packed with instruments and crowned with a giant disco ball, Murphy’s first few attempts to thank the audience for coming out were interrupted by drummer Pat Mahoney, who leapt into My House and I Can Change. Murphy took every opportunity to grab a drumstick and bash out rhythms on mounted auxiliary percussion, or an a-go-go cowbell held aloft, which we loudly venerated as if it were an original stone tablet.
The eight-strong band moved through new track American Dream and classics You Wanted A Hit, Tribulations, and Movement, and with the latter (funnily enough) the notoriously stiff Melbourne crowd really got lithe. We enjoyed an appropriately long intro to the beautiful Someone Great; by its end, every one of those cats on stage was singing “When someone great is gone” while pushing buttons or hitting woodblocks or banging keyboards.
Just before main set closer New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down, Murphy took a moment to address the elephant that was the room: “This seems like a nice place to play. I don’t typically get in the face of old people… but let’s come back next year and re-name this place.” Appreciative whoops.
First encore was the perennial delight Dance Yrself Clean, and it’s here I’ll mention the phenomenal Nancy Whang, silken-pantsuited lady of the keyboards. Bless that brilliant woman, she was playing every single note in the track’s iconic, rapid, whistling keys lick – absolutely no samples about it. The final hit – and you couldn’t have a more appropriate closer – was All My Friends; it’s gotta be clear to every fan that LCD Soundsystem really are all about human connections. So, snaps and hugs to all my people – I love you guys.