Getty | Getty LCD Soundsystem founder James Murphy won't be inside an…
- Posted on Dec 2nd 2010 12:00PM by Arielle Castillo
Ian Witlen for AOL
Art money can make a lot of things happen, so it was that while Metric played its free, open-to-the-public show on the sand, L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art and New York-based Deitch Projects threw a private party at the Raleigh Hotel that featured a performance by LCD Soundsystem.
With free Grey Goose and tables everywhere, the venue was certainly different than a typical LCD Soundsystem gig. At 11PM, as drummer Pat Mahoney and his percussionist companions gently tapped out the beginning beats of 'Dance Yrself Clean,' frontman James Murphy and co-conspirator Nancy Whang took the stage with little fanfare. If dance music and the art world can be all about slickness, Murphy projects the polar opposite, clad in a rumpled plaid shirt and introducing himself simply before crooning the first few bars of the song. With many of the attendees still seated, he said, "I have to warn you, it gets louder in a minute," before the song's epic build-up.
When the band broke into its first synth explosion, a small wall of green and purple stadium lights flashed behind the stage, finally rousing most of the crowd to its feet. Many of the attendees may have been unfamiliar with the performers, but as Murphy and company rolled into the anthemic 'Drunk Girls,' it was impossible not to dance at least a little. Silver-haired ladies bounced in the spaces next to their bamboo seats, and the younger half of the audience crammed into a makeshift dance pit near the front of the stage.
As a longtime art-world favorite, Murphy seemed totally comfortable with it all, joking freely between songs and addressing head-on the slightly surreal quality of the gig. "This is a return of sorts for our band," he explained, "because while other bands started out driving around in a van, we started out by playing events that were not our show!"
Due to its outside locale, though, a strict midnight noise curfew meant that the set would be truncated, although the band went through as much of its catalog as possible. After 'Drunk Girls' and Murphy's amiable but brief between-song patter, there was only time for a few more songs: 'Yr City's a Sucker,' 'I Can Change,' 'All My Friends,' 'You Wanted a Hit' and 'Tribulations.'
Then Murphy had to make an executive decision. "It's 11:56, and we actually have to legally stop at midnight," he announced to boos. "All of our songs are nine minutes, but we have one song that's four minutes. It's a real hit with the art crowd."
LCD Soundsystem then launched into 'Movement,' with its distorted chords taking things out on a relatively rowdy rock 'n' roll note. As it rang out, Murphy explained the two songs the band didn't get to were 'Home' and 'New York I Love You,' drawing a loud, mass groan from the audience. "So go home and download them," he said and shuffled offstage.