When’s the last time you felt your ego dissolve? The last time a drumbeat or synth riff or bass line enveloped you so fully that your soul actually seemed to rise out your body as you relinquished all pretense of control and let yourself be swept away, physically, mentally and emotionally subsumed into a crowd?
It’s been a tough trip to find lately. Thanks to the pandemic, the last couple years have proven difficult for those of us who mainly achieve that kind of spiritual catharsis through live music—particularly the sweaty, jam-packed variety. Luckily, LCD Soundsystem is coming to town.
This is happening: James Murphy’s merry band of disco infiltrators is scheduled to play a miniature Bay Area residency in August, with a total of eight shows from Aug. 16 through 24—four at the Fox Theater in Oakland and four at the Warfield in San Francisco. The shows come on the heels of a handful of similar residencies in New York and London, the reasoning behind which Murphy explained in a Facebook statement back in March.
There isn’t a new release they’re promoting, exactly; the 2019 live in-studio record Electric Lady Sessions was mostly new takes on old originals and a few covers. But 2022 does mark the band’s 20th anniversary, and Murphy says the the group—which has spent much of the last decade alternately tormenting and delighting their obsessive fan base with a “we broke up, for real, oh wait we’re back together” type of limbo—no longer cares for the traditional album/relentless touring cycle. So residencies and a few festivals with long breaks in between, it is. “It’s not overwhelming, so I can work on new music and we can all be human beings,” wrote Murphy. Fair enough!
The Bay Area shows will mark the Brooklyn group’s first dates here since 2017, when they played two nights at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, just a year after an explosive, emotional Outside Lands headlining set in 2016. I can’t find evidence of them having ever played Oakland before. Local electronic music historians’ corrections on this are very welcome.