LCD Soundsystem – November 11th – 1stBank Center

LCD Soundsystem 2017-11-11-39-0298Photos by Jim Mimna

The Scene: After two stellar shows at Red Rocks in August of 2016, the return of James Murphy and LCD Soundsystem has been the talk of Denver’s music community and the city had been buzzing about this show for months.  When we walked into the arena, the band’s giant disco ball was a welcome site as it foreshadowed the giant party that was about to erupt.  Though the show wasn’t sold-out the last time I checked on Friday, there was no shortage of energy in the 1stBank Center and, by the time the band took the stage, the floor was packed and there didn’t seem to be an empty seat in the bowl.

LCD Soundsystem: After a lengthy set from DJ Traxx that provided some decent, though not noteworthy, background music for those of us who arrived early to get warmed up for the show, the lights went down and Murphy and the rest of the band took the stage and slipped into “Oh Baby,” the lead track from their recently released comeback album American Dream.  The slower pace of the song allowed the band to warm up a bit before dropping one of their most beloved tracks “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House.”  With the first notes of the 2005 gem, the dance party got going and didn’t slow down for nearly an hour as Murphy and his bandmates kept the energy pumping with tracks like “I Can Change” and “Get Innocuous” alongside Murphy’s “fuck you” to the music industry “You Wanted A Hit” and one of the standout tracks on the new record “Call The Police.”

Razor sharp beams of light radiated from the massive disco ball and illuminated a sweaty pulsating mass of humanity as the show passed the midway point and the band gave us a little respite with a song that always makes me think about, and value, those who are closest to me in my life; “Someone Great.”  As we all sang the closing refrain “when someone great is gone” over and over again, the songs masterfully produced 8-bit bleeps and bloops kept our feet moving and heads bobbing until they gave way to the dark and angular “Change Yr Mind.”

After an impassioned version of one of my all time favorite LCD songs, “Home,” Nancy Whang took center stage and delivered a riveting take on Chic’s “I Want Your Love.”  LCD dressed up the Disco classic a bit and the crowd ate it up as we poured our overflowing energy into some of the best dance moves of the night.  When Murphy re-emerged I had the sinking feeling that the set was just about over and the opening notes of “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” confirmed that.  The beautiful ballad is tailor made for a set closer and, as it built to climax, the song put an exclamation mark on one of the best sets of music I’ve seen in a long time.

After a lengthy break, the band returned for a three song encore that kicked off with the sprawling “Yr City’s A Sucker” and then gave us yet another chance to throw our hands in the air as “Dance Yrself Clean” built to it’s thunderous drop.  The closing “All My Friends” was the perfect ending to a great night as we danced arm-in-arm with all our friends and started the inevitable countdown to the next LCD Soundsystem live experience.  It can’t come soon enough.

Energy: A+
Musicianship: A
Sound: A
Stage Presence: A
Set/Light Show: A

Overall: A


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Who Is Timothy Dwenger

Music has always been a part of my life. It probably all started listening to old Grateful Dead, Peter Paul & Mary, and Simon & Garfunkel records that my parents had, but it wasn't long before they were taking me to concerts like Starship, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Huey Lewis & The News. I got the bug to write about music after reviewing an Eric Clapton concert for a creative writing project in high school but didn't really take it up seriously until 2002. Since then I have published countless articles in The Marquee Magazine and done some work for Jambase.com, SPIN Magazine, and various other outlets. I started Listen Up Denver! as a way to share the music information that is constantly spilling out of my head with people who care. Please enjoy!