All My Friends And I Alone But Together At LCD Soundsystem 26/7/2017
I did not take any photos save a couple at the start. I cannot tell you what the members of the band were wearing. If they looked like they were having a good time. You did not ned to see faces to know the whole band were having a fun time. I was up the back and to the right of the stage. With nobody behind me, though I was free to stand and dance. Dance I did. The dance of someone ten years older than when they first became obsessed with the dance anthem poetry of James Murphy AKA LCD Soundsystem. I was no mystery to me as to why they had reformed and decided to tour. They knew that we had all gotten older and thier songs were as important to thier fans now as they were ten years ago. Also if I was an American Band I would jump at the chance to leave the country and tour the world where people know your name and love what you do. Did they do it for money? Does it matter if they did? They have a new album coming out so its not so weird. It makes sense.
I arrived to The venue a good three hours early. I walked towards the entrance behind a couple in their 30s holding hands. I made up an entire love story for them based around LCD Soundsystem songs. They met in thier 20s at a house party where Daft Punk was playing…
Because of how anxious I was that I would not be able to find my seat. I made friends with the lady standing at the door to my sear section. Was brave enough to explain that I may need help finding my seat. She helped me with zero bad attitude. The arena was practically empty at this point and Top Forty music was being blasted through the speakers.
I went and got a cup of Cider and some chips and bought it back to my seat. I placed the cup ( after taking a few sips) and cardboard bowl of hot chips on the floor under my seat. I sent a tweet and then went to get my snacks. I promptly knocked over my full drink and spilled it all on the floor under the seat next to mine. After brief but intense sadness at the waste of ten dollars. I thought it was for the best and ate my chips.
I watched people slowly spill into the general admission floor section and all I could think was how glad I was to be sitting down. An incredibly tall middle aged man sat in the seat next to me. The seat under which I had spilled my beverage. He commented to me how this seats were alright and I was so relieved that I had a gig buddy, I may have talked too much. But there was still ages till the show started. We chatted about music and he told me he had quite eclectic taste that included George Michael, Paul Young and Blur. We were even at the same Placebo show years ago at Festival Hall. He had just got back from Greece with his wife and was heavily into reading books about the politics of the country.
It was thanks to him that I knew that there was a DJ playing at that moment who was famous for being a brilliant hat maker. ”He is famous for his hats and he is always wearing one of his creations when he performs.” Because I could not see what this DJ looked like on stage. I imagined the frontmen of that band Vince gets asked to Join in an episode of season two Might Boosh. Vince gets in a fight with the guy who calls himself Johnny Two Hats. Who is so named because he wears two hats. That is who I imagined was supporting LCD Soundsystem. Sometimes being vision impaired is great for the imagination. Not so great for accurate music journalism.
When the band come out and the house lights dim, the collective excitement erupts, The band launch into their first sone Yr City’s A Sucker from their debut 2005 release. The light art at this show was high quality and spectacular. This added to the overall sensation of seeing them live. It could be said that their earlier shows were better but I never got to see them ‘Back in the day.”
When they played Daft Punk Is Playing At My House the memories came flooding back as I stood up and started dancing myself free. In 2005 I was living on the dole and living in my first share house on Alexandra parade in North Fitzroy. Back then you could affor to live there while on the dole as long as you didnt eat much and didn’t have a smartphone monthly bill to worry about. I had just moved to Melbourne with a gnawing hunger in my heart. I held a party but I had zero social or financial capital so nobody came. No twitter and no Facebook meant no worries. I got drunk and danced in the tiny living to LCD Soundsystem all by myself. I was 23.
James even stopped after a few songs and amicably but firmly voiced his disdain that the arena the gig was taking place at was named after a renowed homophobic tennis champion. ”Lets rename this place.” James said to the sound of much cheering and clapping. He also apologised for the huge speakers blocking the view of the stage to some unlucky ticket holders. ”If we could do without them, we would.” Jmaes said. ”But we do need them. Thank you for being here.” Then the band starts the opening to the song I Can Change. I and my gig buddy get up out of our seats almost in unison.
Get Innocuous! American Dream.
When they played You Wanted A Hit, From their 2010 album, I am transported to 2011 (my year of heartbroken OK Cupid dates and non dates) when I would start messaging with a guy on the now still functional and less invasive than Tinder (OK Cupid is not connected to Facebook), dating site. His profile picture was him dressed as James Murphy as he is dressed on the albums cover for the album This Is Happening. This young man whose name I cannot remember and whose face I never saw in real life, taught me that having good taste in music did not bring the boys to yard. Sharing music taste with this elusive Fuck Boy didn’t fill the guy with unconditional love like it did me. I never met him I just madly and rather obsessively messaged him and would constantly try to organise for us to meet up ( and have hot hot sex, duh. I can get wet over the idea of someone) and he always had excuses. I just put it down to my face in my pictures that were on my profile, not being pretty enough to entice him. As I danced to You Wanted A Hit and then toTribulations I wondered if that guy was down below me sweating with the general floor crowd as he danced himself silly. Did he remember a weirdly intense girl during his stint on OK Cupid? A girl who acted so thirstily as if she thought they should get fucking married just because we share a love of a few bands? I will never know.
Movement. Call The Police.
Before they launched into New York I love You James told us that they would be taking a very small two minute break and then playing two more songs. These songs could be considered an encore. James told us.Which hinted to any discerning person present that there would be no encore after these two final songs. ”We have to go pee.” James tells us. ”We are old.”
When everyone sings along to the line from New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down that goes ”Like a rat in a cage pulling minimum wage” it is with nuanced and knowing self awareness. We are older but with not even half of what we were promised growing up. The world is scary and James Murphy was not wrong but scarily accurate when he sang in Call The Police that ‘The future is a nightmare.” It is true which is why nights like this are so important. It is why art matters. How on earth can people cope if they don’t look to music and art and literature?
Someone Great. All My Friends are the final two songs. It is when they play the final song All My Friends that I feel myself getting overwhelmed with the brevity of my feelings about this very moment. It is all to much almost to take in and hold in my one tiny heart. I feel it almost breaking with the understanding that we are all older and one day we all will be dead. Everyone of the people that witnessed this gig with me will die. Hopefully they will die old.
I walk to Richmond train station with my gig buddy after the show. It is cool but not freezing and there is no rain just the vestiges of it from earlier. He is 6ft 3 and i am 4ft 9. As we walk we talk about our first gigs and i find out he saw Blur at Monash Uni. ”I saw a Christian rock band with my Mum and little brother when I was 12.” I tell him. ”at the small town hall in the town nearest my parents farm.” I acknowledge he wins. We say goodbye at the train station and I as he walks away to get the Belgrave Line I call out ”Thanks for being my gig buddy!”
Now the only thing left to do is anticipate the new album while listening to thier old ones.