Published Jul 13, 2017Headlining an evening that also featured performances from Choir! Choir! Choir!, Phantogram and the Shins, New York's LCD Soundsystem were greeted by a youthful ready-to-party crowd that braved persistent rain to witness the Ottawa debut of James Murphy's dance-punk band. Entering the stage beneath the band's iconic disco ball, Murphy was joined by his seven-piece band, featuring LCD originals Nancy Whang, Gavin Russom, Pat Mahoney and Tyler Pope, who situated their instruments in a tight horseshoe to surround their charismatic leader.
Opening with "Yr City's a Sucker," from their 2005 debut LP, the slow-building track worked as a great primer for the level of aural energy the eight musicians would push out to the crowd during the unbridled "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House." Though strong breezes pushed the rain onto the stage, causing Whang and Russom to deal with malfunctioning synthesizers, the group never missed a beat, launching into the sleek, downbeat "I Can Change" from 2010's This Is Happening, before picking the pace back up with Sound of Silver's "Get Innocuous!"
This would prove to be a pattern for the band, as they would follow four-on-the-floor bangers ("Tribulations," "Yeah") with rock-based ("Movement") or more ambient ('Someone Great") material, making it difficult for much of the glowstick-crowd to keep a steady vibe going. By the time Murphy found his way through joyous renditions of his band's two latest singles ("Call the Police" and "American Dreams"), a portion of the crowd had vacated the festival grounds, leaving the diehards with ample room to dance, jump around and sing along for the group's scorching finale of "Dance Yrself Clean" and "All My Friends."
Though the band stuck close their own square-metre of stage, LCD Soundsystem nonetheless delivered the goods, playing an impossibly tight set assisted by crystal clear sound, a gorgeous (and at times perfectly restrained) light show and Murphy's charming stage presence. For those who witnessed the band's entire two-hour performance, it was more than clear that LCD Soundsystem may be the biggest niche band of the moment.