Three songs into LCD Soundsystem’s show last week at the Hollywood Palladium, James Murphy stopped the music.
“Can you please turn off your electronic devices?” the frontman asked, nodding to the sea of screens. “Sorry, we’re just here to have fun without any distractions.” Attaining an intensity absent from the group’s Coachella performance last year, the Brooklyn-based ensemble had no trouble delivering on the latter during their five-night, pre-Thanksgiving stretch at the L.A. auditorium, a perfect venue for the group’s dance hall enthusiasts.
Bodies rocked together underneath a giant, twirling disco ball as Murphy led the New York syndicate – which includes core members Nancy Whang on keyboards, Pat Mahoney on drums and guitarist Al Doyle (Hot Chip) – through a blistering two-hour, 17-song set on Saturday. It was an uplifting, often galvanizing performance. It was also LCD Soundsystem’s first proper L.A. dates in six years, following the groups “final shows” at Madison Square Garden in 2011.
“This isn’t a victory lap or anything,” Murphy has said of the reunion concerts, which will soon exceed 80 in number this year. That’s right, 8-0, which seems more like a marathon than a few laps. But that’s alright – the band’s star wattage and mythology hasn’t dimmed at all, as evident by the mob of loyalists in Hollywood.
Night two of their Palladium residency opened with “Get Innocous!,” a grooving number off their debut album, “Sound of Silver,” while tracks off their newest record, “American Dream,” got treated like old friends. “Call the Police” and “Oh, Baby” were both standouts.
Murphy, who has a smooth, almost nonchalant presence, sauntered back and forth throughout the night between his vintage Sennheiser microphone and a nearby percussion stand (many of the LCD octet are multi-instrumentalists), saying little to the 4,000 attendees, which mostly consisted of 20 and 30-somethings.
After a set-closing “New York I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down,” Murphy and his bandmates encored with a series of LCD hits, including “Dance Yrself Clean” and the manic closer, “All My Friends.”
They could have filled five more nights at the historic L.A. venue, but then again, why not come back for more?