The LCD Soundsystem show on Thursday at the Wellmont managed to be both amazing and somewhat hilarious.
Amazing for all the reasons you would expect. James Murphy sounded great, the band sounded great, he played good songs, he seemed nice, etc., etc. Even from the balcony (which practically seemed like it would collapse), the fervor of the fans was infectious, and it was one of the truly great concerts I've been to.
But why hilarious? Well, James Murphy manages to be incongruous with both the music he makes and his audience. A chubby 40 year old, dressed like a sloppy suburban dad trying to be hip, Murphy shuffle-danced around the stage, while roughly 1000 20-somethings danced raucously to his songs about mid-30s burnout. He does not look, or come across as particularly "cool" to say the least, and certainly not the person to inspire so many indie kids (unlike Sleigh Bells, the opening act, who were like 4 years of weekends at Vassar condensed into half an hour), or to make such pure, interesting dance music.
And why do we 20-somethings listen? I mean, yes, it sounds great, and it's fun, but do we relate? Are there major differences between a midlife crisis, a mid-30s crisis, or a quarterlife crisis? All My Friends may be about that time in your life when you realize you've spent so long working on your "goals" that you've missed all the fun, and try to recapture that, but it's also a great post-college anthem, when your friends are scattered around, and you want to be able to drink on Wednesdays instead of working (not that I would know about working, but you get the point). And while he may not have looked too hip right now, Murphy did give off the air of someone who knows they used to be a lot hipper, which is what makes his songs self-aware without being self-indulgent, a rare feat among indie-popular (not to be confused with indie pop) bands nowadays.
I'm not much of a dancer, and don't tend to listen to anything that could possibly be labeled as electronica, but LCD Soundsystem really transcends all of that in a way. Whether or not I can relate with his music may be besides the point when I'm dancing to it, but it definitely doesn't hurt. And so, I'm incredibly glad that this is happening, and that this show did happen.