A packed out warehouse under Manchester Piccadilly train station is the venue for the first of two nights headlined by Brooklyn’s LCD Soundsystem. The crowd is a mix of the usual young clubbers Warehouse Project usually attracts, the older ex-Hacienda crowd and the kind of indie crowd that you’d likely also see at a Mogwai or Alvvays show. For me personally, I’ve not seen this diverse an audience for a gig in Manchester in a long time, such is the wide appeal of a band like LCD Soundsystem.
The supports for tonight mainly consisted of various DJs who attracted small crowds in the various rooms of the warehouse. Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard however, the night’s sole live support, packed out the main room as he played out the hits from this year’s full length ‘Electric Lines’. The giant electric clock on stage loomed over throughout though, almost as a reminder that everyone was counting down to midnight for the main act to take the stage.
From the opening samples of ‘Get Innocuous’, the crowd was going wild with barely anyone in the room standing still. Six years on from their ‘farewell’ show at Madison Square Gardens; this feels like a heroes’ return. The audience is hooked on James Murphy’s every movement as he switches from nonchalantly swaying around the mic stand to playing percussion like a man possessed in a moment. Whilst he’s very much known as a fantastic electronic musician and producer, I sometimes feel like Murphy doesn’t get enough credit as a vocalist but his voice sounds amazing tonight, shining especially on many difficult high notes.
It was also nice to see Murphy address the crowd as well on camera phones and aggressive dancing and how things like these can hamper the experience of those around you. This is a guy who wants everyone to have a good time.
One problem many acts have in shows like this is they do a reunion tour on the back of an average album that dominates the set. Thankfully, latest album ‘American Dream’ is anything but average, with songs like ‘Call the Police’, ‘Emotional Haircut’ and latest single ‘Tonite’ have the crowd in raptures. No doubt in years to come, songs like these will be the darlings of everyone DJing an indie club night in the same way so many from LCD Soundsytem’s back catalogue are.
Whilst the setlist did have some somewhat noticeable omissions (many in the crowd were shouting for ‘Daft Punk is playing at my house’ throughout most of the set), it was a fairly balanced mix of a few hits from all of their albums. Sadly the set was cut short due to a broken snare drum though they still found time to end on ‘All My Friends’ in what was one of the best set closing performances I’ve seen. By getting LCD soundsystem to play this launch show for the return of Warehouse Project, they’ve not only come back with a bang, they’ve set the bar incredibly high for any acts who follow.