LCD Soundsystem leads rave
For a man so caught up in his own perpetually dwindling prime, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem makes surprisingly age-proof music. Tuesday’s crowd at the Orpheum was equal parts collegiate partiers hoisting iPhones and adult indie-rockers trying to ignore the BlackBerries lighting up their pockets. Work shirts were coming off in the balconies, hands were thrown in the air, there was even some actual glowstick deployment. Despite this frenzied mob, Murphy’s biggest fan was certainly the giant orange industrial one he had wheeled to the wings of the stage — the show was 90 minutes long, and the temperature inside the theater was at least that many degrees.
Blinking synth modules and clusters of percussion were scattered across the stage, and the seven-person band cycled around, trying everything. Hot Chip’s Al Doyle filled in on bass for new dad Tyler Pope, a blank-faced Gavin Russom presided over an altar of analog keyboards, and Nancy Whang moved between growling synth jags and crowd-stoking vocal callouts. Pat Mahoney on drums unleashed a relentless fusion of housey tidiness and post-punk grit; he’s the literal pulse of this band.
Word is that this is LCD’s final tour, making this year’s celebrated “This Is Happening’’ — from which most of the set was drawn — the finale in a de facto trilogy. This literary treatment suits LCD, which cut even its rawest jams (“Movement,’’ “Losing My Edge’’) with a refined wit, by turns wry and dry. Still, the squelchy “Tribulations’’ (from the group’s self-titled 2005 debut), the ghostly proto-house of “Get Innocuous!’’ (from 2007’s “Sound of Silver’’), and the slowly escalating “You Wanted a Hit’’ (from “Happening’’) all signaled a band far more interested in throwing down heat than fleshing out themes.
Earlier, with just eight Marshall cabs, a concealed iPod, and the unlikely chemistry between guitarist Derek Miller’s post-hardcore chops and vocalist Alexis Krauss’s controlled sass, Brooklyn duo Sleigh Bells made short shrift of loosening up the rows with an intense opening set. Earplugs were no match for the machine-gun low end of “Tell ’Em,’’ and Krauss punctuated “Kids’’ with markers of her two extremes: icy shrieks and coy giggles.
Michael Brodeur can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.