The Time Has Come.
On the eve of the release of their second, LCD Soundsystem may have been carrying a lot of hopes and expectations but if they were, it didn't seem to show in concert. Recent press and Internet statements indicated main man James Murphys desire to have the album chart highly (at first at number one but recently downsizing the hopes for second position) may seem like a man looking for greater recognition but it appears to be Murphys hopes to give the blandness and predictability of modern music a bloody nose.
The fair city of Glasgow knows all about dishing out a few bloody noses and when the city and LCD Soundystem met head on, what could have turned nasty, resulted in a rather happy gathering.
Opening with 'Us VS Them' and a line of "the time has come, the time has come today" is a serious call to arms, and even though it was a new song, the beat and tempo was kicking off from the start and it was going to take more than a broken strap on a shoe to prevent some of the front row crowd from dancing their hearts out.
Those perturbed with the show starting off with a new track were soon sated with 'Daft Punk is Playing At My House' which got any bystanders dancing and rioting as Glasgow does best on a Friday night.
The merging of old and new was seamless, no doubt helped by the showmanship of Murphy and the talent of the band. With Hot Chip's Al Doyle on guitar, there was a strong electronic heritage on stage, with the drums phenomenal throughout. Given that Murphy is synonymous with the cowbell sound you would think that this would be his main weapon of choice but on stage, as alluded to in an interview for the free newspaper Metro, Murphy is more of a wizard with a tambourine, and he didn't disappoint.
As for the songs, it can be awkward to gauge new material in the live environment and appreciate the songs when you are hearing them for the first time. Amazingly, this wasn't the case here, with the new tracks sounding like immediate floor fillers which had the bass blasting out of the speakers.
'All My Friends' is quite simply, astounding. As lean and muscular as the greatest Krautrock tracks, it's a distant relation to Wayne Coynes collaboration with The Chemical Brothers which builds and builds until James Murphy takes The Barras to breaking point by bellowing "Where are your friends tonight?" over and over. With the internet and downloads its easier for fans to get a hold of new material before an albums release but for first listen, it was astounding and checking it out on the bands myspace after the gig confirmed its genius. Fans of Neu! Or Spiritualizeds spacey moments will adore this track and everyone else should give it a whirl, if only for the rush that develops as the song continues.
The mix of old and new continued with 'Tribulations' getting a massive sing-along involvement with the crowd whilst 'Watch The Tapes' did more than enough to suggest that in future shows, it too will have the crowd hollering the call and response element of the chorus.
One or two technical problems were starting to creep in and the introduction of 'Yeah' was delayed so some repairs could be applied to the Moog keyboard but any complaints would have been churlish. When the band reappeared, the Barras crowd couldn't fail to blow their top at the repeated positive cries rung around the venue before some extended percussion jams extended the track to an elevated jam.
On this showing, there is no difficult second album from LCD Soundsystem and with this show happening so early in the albums lifecycle, it's a bit scary to think how better, if possible, the shows could become. Losing their edge? If anything, LCD Soundsystem have doubled any edge they held.