PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The disco ball dropped again on Thursday for the third of three sold out nights of LCD Soundsystem at The Fillmore Philadelphia.
The dance rock outfit, back in Philly for the first time in seven years, brought out a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. From old punks to Fishtown’s finest, the sea of people was dotted with graying beards and beanies all assembled to witness the reunited band.
The band was back in Philadelphia after a self-imposed hiatus in 2011. Two years ago they started making music again, and their celebrated return culminated in the Grammy-nominated American Dream album released earlier this year.
As the lights went down at 9:16 p.m., the Sound Of Silver’s “Us V Them” soared from the speakers and light from that mirror ball suspended above exploded across the audience. It announced the arrival of a party helmed by singer James Murphy.
The stage was a mess of keyboards and wires, drums and lights, with Murphy at the center. Dressed is a V-neck and black pants, he howled into a classic microphone and seemed to feel every word. The light would bounce off the stark blank backdrop as Murphy maneuvered around his seven other band mates as they followed into “I Can Change.”
In between songs, he seemed humbled and spent from the outpouring, but LCD’s overall vibe was loose and fun. Murphy – both burly and intimate – took time throughout the night to celebrate keyboardist and singer Nancy Whang’s birthday, named-checked South Street’s Zipperhead from his time spent living at 4th and Fitzwater, and talked about the band’s three night run in Philadelphia.
“We don’t know yet if this is the best or the worst,” he said of band’s final show at The Fillmore.
What’s always been striking about LCD Soundsystem is their effortless shifts from dance floor bangers, to contemplative crooning, to garage rock thrash. All the while, there’s something signature to every bit of it. The same held true on stage as frenetic punk jams like “Movement” sat beside the twinkling dance vibes of “Someone Great” with perfect compliment.
This big “comeback” from LCD Soundsystem very much embodies the band, not trading on fanfare but relying on an emotional connection, and never taking itself too seriously.
“We’re gonna play some songs, then we’re gonna leave and go that way, then we’re gonna come back and play more songs,” Murphy joked near the end of the main set. “We’re gonna do that regardless of how you react.”
The band presented a cautious intro to the Philly crowd before closing the main set with “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down,” however followed it by playing the It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia string arrangement during their encore break.
They would return with a pair of standouts from this year’s American Dream album, a frenzied flashing “Dance Yourself Clean,” and the cinematic rally cry of “All My Friends.”
“Where are your friends tonight?” Murphy sang out in the night’s closing moments, before raising a glass of wine towards the crowd.
Three sold out nights after all these years seems to answer, they never left.