10.04.2010

FYM ON THE LIST: LCD SOUNDSYSTEM AND SLEIGH BELLS IN BOSTON



It was quite a Jetsetter week for this particular FYM writer, as I was able to enjoy high-profile concerts for free (mostly) in various cities on both coasts (Vampire Weekend/Beach House in Berkeley on Saturday, LCD Soundsystem/Sleigh Bells in Boston on Tuesday, and Pavement/Sonic Youth/No Age in Los Angeles on Thursday).

Basically, the past week went a little like this: took a flight from Burbank Airport to San Francisco on Saturday, hung out in San Francisco for the day, then caught Vampire Weekend at Berkeley's Greek Theater that night (which you can read about by clicking HERE). The rest of the weekend was spent hanging out in San Francisco until a red eye flight was caught Monday night from San Francisco to Chicago's O'Hare Airport where I saw one of my favorite sights anywhere (especially when I was a kid traveling to that airport many times): the Helmut Jahn neon light tunnel that connects the United Airlines terminals:


After a brief layover in Chicago, FYM landed in Boston on Tuesday morning and then was practically forced by pouring rain to duck into a movie theater to catch the supremely creepy but ultimately sad documentary Catfish. (Meanwhile, it was 116 degrees back home in Los Angeles). While outside the Orpheum during the day, we spotted LCD Soundsystem drummer extraordinaire Pat Mahoney riding his bike around the front near this marquee and tour buses.


After successfully staying out of the rain for most of the remainder of the day, it was time to go to the concert. The Orpheum is an old, hot, strange smelling venue which somehow also appeared to have a layer of fog near the ceiling. Pop-metal duo Sleigh Bells hit the stage not long after we arrived and proceeded to kick ass as much as a band that relies heavily on prerecorded backing tracks can. Singer Alexis Krauss is a bona-fide mesmerizing frontwoman and a pure ball of energy. Even though Sleigh Bells' live act is essentially a large-scale karaoke performance and probably better suited, for the time being, for a smaller venue, Krauss never lets up and never stands still for more than a split second. And they did their job: their set was loud and the Boston crowd seemed very into it, successfully setting us up for the ultimate dance party that would soon follow.

Check out the ferocious new video for Sleigh Bells' "Infinity Guitars", in which said guitars sound heavier than 1,000 of the heaviest doom metal bands combined:



LCD Soundsystem is simply one of the greatest live bands on the planet. Their set was heavy on their first and third albums, but thankfully they played the masterpieces "All My Friends" and "Someone Great" (along with "Get Innocuous") from second (and best) album Sound of Silver


LCD opened their set with the opener from their new album, This Is Happening, "Dance Yrself Clean" and, as expected, the crowd exploded with cheers and tons of dancing after the song itself explodes after its two minute intro. This Is Happening gem "I Can Change" was a highlight of the middle of the band's set, right in the midst of this intensely sweaty and therefore amazing show. The band employs up to seven musicians at a time at various points throughout their set and not once does any of them seem unnecessary or take away from the show in any manner. LCD Soundsystem is a team of absolute professionals who are better than any other group in the world at turning any venue into a dance frenzy.

The band finished their set with the excellent This Is Happening closer "Home", a place they're going to have to wait a while to see again, as they're in the midst of a big and very welcome tour. We feel the need to emphasize "welcome" tour because of the scare earlier this year that this may be LCD's final tour. It's always very smart to go out on top of your game, but LCD appears to be on a creative roll like none other that it seems completely unnecessary to disband anytime soon. James Murphy is no doubt a very talented individual and should have the LCD hits rolling out for many years to come.