Reunion tours seem to be the trend of the past few years, as the artists that we adored in our youth return to celebrate anniversaries, perform for those who never got the chance to see the artist or, as some would claim, to make a quick cash grab. Whatever the reason, the results can range from disappointingly lifeless to a beautiful celebration of the music, the fans and all the memories shared between them.
Luckily, LCD Soundsystem’s Friday show at Nashville Municipal Auditorium was the latter.
The night began with New Orleans rapper Big Freedia, a reality TV star and the self-proclaimed “Queen of Bounce”. The aural assault from the drum machines and Freedia’s call-and-response vocals made for an electrifying performance, along with some impressive moves from her dancers.
About a half hour after Big Freedia left the stage, the house lights began to dim and the audience erupted in applause. One-by-one the band began to take the stage, with LCD Soundsystem-mastermind James Murphy bringing up the rear. Synthesizers began to swell, drum machines started clicking away and then band launched into “Oh Baby” off of the group’s 2017 comeback album American Dream.
The rest of the night was a beautiful tribute to the band’s career, with a setlist equally divided between all four of their studio albums. Old favorites such as a “Yr City’s a Sucker” and “Get Innocuous!” were mixed in with newer cuts like “Tonite” and “Call the Police”, all of which were met with an audience that knew every word and never stopped dancing.
As no good reunion tour is complete without a few tears, the music overwhelmed the audience several times throughout the night, namely during the emotionally potent “Someone Great”. Following a pre-planned encore (Murphy told the crowd that they would be back after a quick bathroom break) the band broke into some of their biggest hits from their discography. The crowd screamed every word “Losing My Edge” and “Emotional Haircut”, while the instrumental explosion midway through “Dance Yrself Clean” sparked the dancefloor to reach an energetic peak rivaling that of the biggest festivals.
The culmination of the evening was the grandiose fan-favorite “All My Friends”, a fitting end to the show and a legacy. As James Murphy’s vocals soared, singing of inebriated nights with friends and the strains that tour puts on those relationships, audience members (yours truly included) embraced each other with tears streaming down faces.
As the lights came on and the crowd dispersed, I watched my friend as he stood there speechless, and I wondered what happens when a band that has shaped the lives of fans for over a decade is gone.
Photos by Hunter Long // Vanderbilt Hustler