Joyful -- that's the only word for it, if forced to render a LCD Soundsystem concert to its finest element. The ecstasy's everywhere, evident from any angle. It's there in the crowd, its arms akimbo and heads bobbing and mouths agape -- the constant throb. And it's there on the stage, where the sprawling band stitches together 40 years' worth of dance music in all its iterations into a catchy, cathartic yawp.
Six years after the breakup that didn't take, Murphy finally brought the band back to town -- the Bomb Factory in Deep Ellum the night before Halloween. The audience, packed and amped, dressed the part; near stage front, a woman wore an outfit made of miniature illuminated disco balls like the one that adorns LCD Soundsystem's 2005 debut, from which a handful of the night's songs were culled. Murphy wore his costume, too -- sport coat over painted T-shirt, very late-40s chic.
The break has tightened LCD's DNA: Talking Heads at The Fall by way of Joy Division divided by the Gang of Four drenched in Donna Summer, slathered in B-52s and wrapped in more Moroder than Bowie and Daft Punk ever dreamed of. A two-hour set, consisting largely of oldies that sound fresher than anything that'll be released tomorrow or next year, is a middle-aged rock snob's record collection unwrapped, decoded and reconstructed by a guy who lives by the words of Nile Rodgers ("I want to boogie with you") and, during his time off stage, curated espresso beans whilst opening a wine bar in Brooklyn.
But the revelation came early into the night's set, as the new song "Oh Baby" (a bit of a slow-starter) dissolved into early raver "Daft Punk is Playing at My House." During his away time, Murphy also learned to sing; guy's got a beautiful, potent voice to go with those upbeat songs about loss, seizing the forever-fleeting moment and trying to survive the night. Or maybe that's what comes with growing older, ditching the early-days detachment and no longer mumbling in the key of cynical.
Every hook's a highlight; every chorus, a climax. No one leaves a LCD Soundsystem show in a bad mood, especially not after that cover of Chic's "I Want Your Love." Even the sad songs -- and there are plenty of them ("Someone Great," for starters, one of the saddest ever) -- at least sound hopeful beneath all that gorgeous frenzy. LCD Soundsystem makes good records -- solid, sprawling histories-of-everything recorded since 1971, give or take -- but it shines brightest beneath the lights.
Because, as Murphy put it, as the show bopped toward the one-two farewell punch of "Dance Yrself Clean" and "All My Friends," make the most of every moment, even on a school night. "Everybody's gonna die -- it's just work." And so the crowd, staring toward midnight, danced along and sang along, even the beards in the Stetsons and the bros in the backward-facing ball caps. Rapturous ain't a bad way to spend a Monday night near the end of 2017.
LCD Soundsystem's setlist at Oct. 30 Dallas show
Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
Call The Police
I Can Change
You Wanted a Hit
Change Yr Mind
Yr City's a Sucker
I Want Your Love (Chic)
Dance Yrself Clean
All My Friend