LA traffic tried to conspire to keep us down, but by car, by taxi, by foot and by the grace of god, we made it to the Hollywood Bowl last night for the big LCD Soundsystem/Arcade Fire show. And kids, I ain’t gonna lie to you, it was really nothing short of amazing. Coulda been the Bowl, coulda been the company, coulda been a beautiful fall evening under the stars and a couple bottles of Newcastle. But whatever it was, it was way better than the show I went to at the Greek in May.
Then again, we were pimpin’ it in the garden boxes down front. So there’s that.
As I mentioned, traffic went all midtown Atlanta on us yesterday evening and resulted in us missing the first few LCD songs. But I did manage to fire off one picture before deciding I didn’t feel like taking pictures and would just enjoy the show. Of the couple I took, this one came out the most messed up but somehow oddly interesting, so here it is. James Murphy and Co. going at it:
I should prolly note here that the Soundsystem flat-out rocked. Too bad we missed any of it as they clearly came to throw down. James looked like he just rolled out of bed, the dj chick rocked pants, and their drummer may be the hardest working man in rock. It was awesome. They closed out the set with “New York I love you (but you’re bringing me down)” which I thought was an interesting choice (kind of a slow one) but given our late arrival and the fact that I’d never been so thirsty in my life, we decided to get a jump on buying beers. But it was still killer.
And as we werre making our way back in after getting beers, we saw Rod Stewart scurrying into the good seats. Rod!
Then the Arcade Fire hit the stage. And proceeded to take the roof off the place. I know, I know. Not that there even was a roof, but go with me on this. Had there been one, it would be gone. Had there been walls, they’d be gone. I think there might have been a forest fire danger. I’m just sayin’.
Long story made way shorter, the scary thing is they’ve gotten better. Granted they’ve been on the road with these songs for going on a year now but they trotted out a couple of things I’d never seen before. The most impressive thing was at the end of pretty much my favorite song of theirs, “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)”, as the “ooo-ooo-oo-ooo-oooo’s” were fading out, they brought down the music to just some feedback and random noise while they all switched instruments again and then once everyone was all set they came right back up into the “ooo-ooo-oo-ooo-oooo’s” full force again before flowing straight into “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out).” Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
I suppose that’s not that novel of a trick but it worked. And worked well. Kind of like how Widespread used to throw “Diner” in the middle of “Driving Song” and after like 8 minutes of “Diner” they sneakily shimmy right back into “Driving Song” and no matter how many times they did it, it was always like finding a wallet you lost only now it’s got hunsky in it. God, I love that.
In other notes about the show last night, “My body is a cage” was flooring. “(Antichrist Television Blues)" was genius—as was a certain someone’s call that they were going to play it next. “Windowsill” was straight-up outstanding with brilliant horns and strings. “Haiti” has only gotten better over time and Regine’s only getting cooler by me. And “Wake Up” was as crazy good as it was the first time I ever heard it. That’s a goddamn great song.
What a show, what a night. I enjoyed myself silly.
Here's what they played.
1. Black Mirror
2. Keep The Car Running
3. Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
4. No Cars Go
6. Intervention (dedicated to “Governor Bush”)
7. (Antichrist Television Blues)
8. My Body Is A Cage
10. Ocean Of Noise
11. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
12. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
13. Rebellion (Lies)
14. The Well And The Lighthouse
15. Wake Up
And for another little taste of how devastatingly good these guys are, check out this video of them covering the Clash’s “Guns of Brixton.” Give it a second to get going in the second verse. Guns of Brixton
You gotta be kidding me.
And happy autumn equinox everyone. Today, tomorrow, whenever. Is it the 21st or the 22nd? I don't know. But it's fall. that's exciting.