Article By: Zack Cohen
Formed in the early 2000’s, LCD became known for their eclectic mix of instruments along with idiosyncratic studio layering techniques. Classifying their sound as electro-dance punk, LCD has been on the forefront of the “electronic” music scene for the past eighteen years. While electrodance punk may seem like a niche genre, their music has resonated highly with a wide variety of audiences.
LCD recently won their first Grammy for the best dance track of 2017. The beauty of LCD Soundsystem is that you don’t have to be a die-hard fan to enjoy their sets. Touring behind their latest release, American Dream, the New York natives have been playing non-stop shows since June. The group started off their second round of Colorado shows with two performances at Aspen’s intimate concert venue, Belly Up, followed by a third at the Winter X-Games. LCD’s Colorado tour was wrapped up with frigid temperatures at the foot of Aspen’s Buttermilk Mountain.
Concert goers began to lineup minutes before the gates opened, each fan talking about how many times they’ve seen LCD and how the group has shaken down to be one of the best live bands they’ve seen. As the venue began to fill, an unnamed DJ played his outlined set of computer processed EDM hits, juxtaposing what would then be a night of live electronic music, played on multiple analog instruments. People began to pack in closer and closer, sharing body heat to combat the cold.
The group walked onto the stage stoically at exactly 9:30, dressed to endure the cool mountain air. With a strict curfew to adhere to, no time was wasted getting into their set; opening with, “us v them”, a song very seldom played on the American Dream Tour. Minutes into the song, LCD’s iconic disco ball slowly became the backdrop, hovering over the band. The crowd cheered and LCD played on, taking a short break for drummer, Pat Mahoney, to take off his gloves. Periodically, Front-man, James Murphy, would praise the crowd for dancing in the cold while he stood on stage in his toasty blue coat.
First time concert goers were enamoured by LCD’s stage presence. With seven members performing, there is a lot going on. While James is always in the spotlight, the eye cannot help but wander to the multiple synths in the back or focus in on the rhythmic dancing of guitarist, Al Doyle. However, discourse was later substituted for “headbanging” as LCD transitioned into their hit, “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House”.
As the concert progressed, fans began to push their way to the front while the suspended disco ball shimmered and redirected specs of light into the audience. White and green lights flashed simultaneously along with the kick drum hits that accompanied the seven-minute jam, “get innocuous”. Every songs flowed together nicely, capitalizing on the esoteric deep cuts such as “you wanted a hit” and “yr city’s a sucker”. The slow buildup of “dance yrself clean” amped up the crowd even more, breaking down with the climatic hits on the snare drum, leaving the audience ecstatic as the blue and red stage lights flared, enshrouding the band members. The crowd packed in even tighter for the closing songs as everyone danced together in unison.
The night was brought to somewhat of an abrupt end as the last note of “all my friends” was played, leaving the crowd cheering and wanting more. As the band left the stage, keyboardist, Nancy Whang, spoke into the microphone, “Rest in peace Warren Miller”, a fitting tribute to the director who devoted his life to making action sports movies, many shot in Colorado.
In comparison to LCD’s November show at the 1st Bank Center, the energy at the X-Games was much higher. However, due to the “early” curfew, the band couldn’t play all of the songs they had originally planned to. While some were disappointed with the shortened set, spirits were very high as people filed out of the venue. First timers were heard saying how much they wanted to see the band again while veterans exclaimed how they still haven’t gotten enough.