LCD Soundsystem Make Forest Hills Stadium a Dance Club
June 19, 2023
LCD Soundsystem – Forest Hills Stadium – June 16, 2023
By the time LCD Soundsystem got to the big, fist-pumping “Dance Yrself Clean” late in their Friday night set at Forest Hills Stadium, the whole day had already felt like the ethos of that song, mutated into a mini-festival. Which the day was: a panoramic showcase of dance-pop modes, interesting and varied enough to be critically overthought, groovy, and danceable enough to remind you that critical overthinking isn’t the point. Nah, the right move at Forest Hills — whether it was the slickly boogying, still-got-it headliners or the mesmerizing, brainy-kid-at-the-block-party Jamie XX, or the serrating rock of IDLES or the psychedelic R&B of L’Rain — was to let these gorgeous sonics wash over you, shake some ass and celebrate that you’re in a time when all of this might transpose nicely enough to a stadium setting to make it feel both like a club night and a concert. “We weren’t sure if this would work,” said LCD’s tireless frontman James Murphy. It worked.
LCD were on point for their entire wham-bam 90 minutes: This jittery, caffeinated, polyglot dance-punky music still makes big, infectious statements but is also a uniter — there’s almost nothing cold or remote about it, and more than once did this crowd dance it all out as one, a sashaying unit under the shine from the stage’s giant disco ball.
Murphy and team — down bassist Tyler Pope, who was sick, and instead with a small army of fill-ins — got to work as it was still light out, tearing through old favorites like “Get Innocuous,” “Tribulations” and “Movement.” The funky dance-offs were front and center, and so were synth-bath rockers like “New Body Rhumba,” “Dance Yrself Clean” and the band’s emo-licious cover of Joy Division’s “No Love Lost.” They move as a tight but supple unit — Murphy and his crew of machinists and sound manipulators and rhythm mavens — and it allows them the freedom to execute a wide range of concert acrobatics, such as when the moody, Bowie-esque “Someone Great” jam-banded its way into “Losing My Edge” and then the disco rat-a-tat of “Home.” They’re not a little theatrical, either: “We’re going to go full Vegas summer stock,” enthusiastically declared Murphy as the band lit into “New York, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down,” its now-classic wistful ballad for the city of its name. Like the closing “All My Friends” — thousands of danced-clean folks pogoing in step — it still hits. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson