Live Review

Roskilde 2010: LCD Soundsystem

Exactly the kind of reception this band deserve.

One of the most anticipated acts to appear at Roskilde this year was without a doubt New York City’s LCD Soundsystem. James Murphy scared the living daylights out of clubgoers when he told Rolling Stone a couple months ago that ‘This is Happening’, the latest LCD Soundsystem album released in May, will probably be the band’s last. And it was obvious by the fan turnout at Cosmopol, a 6,000 capacity tent, that the words of doom had reached Nordic shores. Even the festival programme booklet makes the appearance out to be their penultimate at Roskilde.

The packed-in bodies under the tent make me think everyone who hasn’t started queuing early for the pits at Orange Stage for Gorillaz’s show there later have showed up to Cosmopol for a glimpse of Murphy and his band. The crowd spills out from under the tent as well, but no-one is complaining - much - with the pleasant sunny weather. Murphy is noticeably nervous by the number of people who have shown up on day 1 of the festival to see them. At the start, Murphy seems anxious by the turnout. He brings up the last time the band appeared at Roskilde - 2007, the wettest festival on record when an epic rainfall of over 100 mm rain fell on the campsite - and said he thought the only reason why people had come to see them then was because the weather was so bad and the fields were so muddy that they had nothing else to do.

So he shows his mock confusion why everyone wants to see them if the sun is shining so brightly on Denmark today and they could be outside enjoying the amazing weather. Despite the tent coverage blocking some of the sunlight, light still creeps in, and it definitely feels odd to be seeing LCD Soundsystem when it’s clearly light outside. Still, changing mood lighting is used to great effect and does its best to make Cosmopol feel like a massive dance club.

Murphy looks more like a hospital orderly than a revered dance icon in white shirt and trousers. It’s nice to see someone out of the dance music scene who isn’t a diva or high maintenance. He doesn’t need all of that: LCD Soundsystem’s mad beats speak for themselves. The humourous and extremely catchy first single from ‘This is Happening’, ‘Drunk Girls’, is the first track to really get the crowd moving and grooving to the beats. Dance music aficionados from way back are clearly in attendance as the gig goes to another level with one of the band’s earliest hits, ‘Daft Punk is Playing at My House’. Everyone is shouting with Murphy in unison to ‘my house! My house!’, pumping their fists in the area for added effect.

‘Pow Pow’, another track from the current album, sounds a hundred times better live. Is it the Roskilde magic? As the excitement builds as the set goes on, the crowd surges forward, pinning us down the front. So at that point, there really is no choice but to bump bodies, which is exactly the kind of reception this band from New York deserves. Not one punter could say they left Cosmopol disappointed, unless of course they happened to LCD obsessives who couldn’t get into the tent.

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