On Friday, legendary dance-punk band LCD Soundsystem got here to Stanford for the very first day of the inaugural live performance collection Re:SET alongside Large Freeda, Idles and Jamie xx. Leaving Frost Amphitheater clutching my press cross in a single hand and a live performance setlist within the different, I spotted that day would go down as an particularly improbable second for music followers throughout the Bay Space.
With the band displaying their knack for blood-pumping instrumentation (and frontman James Murphy’s sensible songwriting), I can confidently say this was among the best live shows I’ve ever attended.
Re:SET is a model new outside live performance collection by AEG Presents which sees established artists performing in the identical venues throughout the nation (from Stanford to New Orleans to Queens) for the following few weekends. It’s fairly an revolutionary mannequin: basically, LCD Soundsystem, Steve Lacy and boygenius are shifting collectively from area to area triangularly performing all through the month of June. The identical day that LCD performed Stanford, Lacy was in Los Angeles and boygenius in San Diego.
Based on AEG Presents senior vp Wealthy Holtzman, the Re:SET reveals had been particularly designed as “smaller, curated payments with one stage [and] area in between the bands to hold with associates.” To me, these are all welcome modifications to the stale and overblown nature of most pageant lineups — already signal.
This new blueprint for the trendy music pageant isn’t with out fault. Right here’s an odd side of Re:SET: performances started at 4:00 p.m. I ended up lacking the primary act, Large Freeda — the Queen of Bounce — even after speeding over from afternoon courses. Contemplating the hectic lifetime of Stanford college students and different concertgoers, it’s no surprise that Frost was nonetheless sparse after I bought there.
I entered the pit as British punk band Idles carried out the primary tune of their set, the (fittingly) colossal “Colossus.” That includes snarling vocals from the energetic Joe Talbot and a driving rhythm part, the observe was as intense because it was impassioned. Talbot’s face would usually flip beet pink, with thick veins protruding from his face as he screamed diatribes. Just like the improbable dad or mum album for “Colossus” (“Pleasure As An Act of Resistance”), Idles’ efficiency was centered round vulnerability and sincerity.
The band isn’t afraid to put on their politics on their sleeve (as is the case with loads of punk teams). Talbot prefaced the catchy punk shout-along “Danny Nedelko” by speaking about his unequivocal help for immigrants all over the world. His message made sense within the context of the tune’s simple-yet-effective refrain lyrics: “He’s manufactured from bones / He’s manufactured from blood / He’s manufactured from flesh / He’s made of affection / He’s manufactured from you / He’s manufactured from me / Unity! / Worry results in panic / Panic results in ache / Ache results in anger / Anger results in hate.”
Total, Idles set my expectations extremely excessive for the remainder of the live performance: this was the most important barn burner I had ever seen at Frost, turning the viewers into a bunch of punk rockers for an hour.
By the point Jamie xx got here on stage, I had made my approach to the railing, inserting myself within the entrance center of the primary row. An enormous disco ball descended from the center of the stage as Jamie, a member of the English indie pop band The xx, got here on stage in a modest black t-shirt and striped pants. If I hadn’t acknowledged his face and shaggy hair, he might’ve simply been mistaken for a roadie.
As quickly as he bought behind his gear, his artistry was unmistakable: Jamie effortlessly cycled by dozens of grooves, a handful of digital genres and doubtless 1000’s of sounds. He rapidly established his wealthy, diverse sound palette with a gap assortment of tracks that flowed into one another. Digital genres like future storage, chipmunk soul and UK bass had been all current in his set, sparking bouts of euphoric dance among the many bouncy crowd. Everybody round me seemed to be in a stupor induced by music (and, let’s be trustworthy, medicine).
Because the solar went down, it was lastly time for the primary occasion: the quintessentially New York band LCD Soundsystem. They started acting at 8:15 p.m., beginning with the traditional “Get Innocuous” from the album “Sound of Silver.” The rhythm part’s relentless groove and Murphy’s Bowie-esque vocal efficiency made for an ideal introduction to the unrivaled magic of the group’s sound.
I can’t think about how a lot all of their gear should have value. Analog synthesizers, the devices of the four-piece rock band, assorted percussion (together with a enjoyable vibraslap and bongos) and amplifiers cluttered each nook of the stage. In reality, the quantity of apparatus across the band pressured the musicians to scrunch collectively in the course of the stage, surrounded by partitions of amplifiers and storage trunks.
LCD performed a diverse setlist that might please normal concertgoers and hardcore followers (like me) simply the identical. It was good to see them deliver out the underappreciated “Residence” and “You Wished A Hit” from their masterpiece album “That is Occurring.” On the similar time, I liked listening to their latest single “New Physique Rhumba” (from Noah Baumbach’s “White Noise” film) and the traditional “Daft Punk is Taking part in in My Home” — although it was not onerous to note that the previous is a talented rewrite of the latter.
Nonetheless, it was the closing three songs that sealed the deal for me. “New York, I Love You However You’re Bringing Me Down,” “Dance Yrself Clear” and “All My Buddies” had been merely the perfect dwell performances I had seen all yr. The Broadway melodrama of “New York, I Love You However You’re Bringing Me Down” was particularly efficient; the band turned one in all their most cathartic items right into a transcendent live performance expertise, full with synchronized flashing lights and livid cymbal crashes.
The neurotic “Dance Yrself Clear” is maybe the band’s signature tune, that includes their best drop. In reality, every time the drop’s piercing drum fill and bouncy synth minimize by the combination, the group went completely wild. The efficiency of this observe additionally served as a showcase of the band’s maximalist visible presentation. There have been huge flashes of blue and pink mild every time the refrain hit, and, as a result of band’s bodily closeness on stage, it felt like a celebration.
However “All My Buddies” is the height of each their discography and the primary day of Re:SET. The tune options a ravishing looped piano line indebted, unusually sufficient, to modern classical à la Phillip Glass — however the underlying dance groove is relentless.
The lyrics are completely poetic. In recounting a nostalgic celebration, lead singer Murphy says, “And so it begins / You turn the engine on / We set controls for the center of the solar / One of many ways in which we present our age,” throwing in a Pink Floyd reference on prime of an ideal description of the bittersweet naïvety of adolescence. Suffice it to say that, as an accumulation of practically seven hours of efficiency, “All My Buddies” effortlessly caught the touchdown.
Re:SET could also be a brand new occasion, however I definitely hope this isn’t its solely pageant season. It was a ravishing night time that prioritized each the artists performing and the devoted followers listening. When James Murphy crooned “And to inform the reality / Oh, this might be the final time / So right here we go” on the finish of “All My Buddies,” a way of inventive immediacy grew to become palpable within the crowd. Everybody couldn’t assist however really feel it.
Editor’s Notice: This text is a assessment and contains subjective ideas, opinions and critiques.