these are the parts of a terrible past
Memorial Day 2005 Post #1
[CAVEAT: There is probably nothing new in this post. It's all stuff you've read, seen or heard elsewhere (or at least you could have), so you'll have to forgive me (ok, I guess you don't have to). Last week's busyness & this week's sickness kept me from writing about this stuff more promptly, but I'm going to post it nonetheless. That is all.]
Let's start with last weekend's trek down to Chitown for the big hipsterfest at The Metro. After my interview at Cheapo (is it weird to start working at a record store?), I darted home to grab necessary supplies & swung around to pick-up JRDN & begin the long drive down I-94. 6-7 hours (and a rainstorm) later, we snatched up Mouk & made our way to the sold out venue.
After nearly two hours of standing & waiting & jockeying for position, DJ Diplo finally came out & spun a short dancehall set, but the audience was anxious to get Miss Arulpragasam out on stage. After Diplo teased the beat from "Amazon" throughout his set, the lights went down & the video projection switched on a chopped-up video of a press conference with a certain prime minister being constanting interrupted by a certain president, whose response was always: "M.I.A." Diplo scratched alog with some of the cuts, and the whole thing was pretty amusing. When the lights came back up, the video projection switched to Maya's animated artwork, after which M.I.A. finally emerged & the crowd erupted as she launched into "Pull Up The People," the lead-off track (excluding the "Ba-Na-Na" skit) from Arular.
M.I.A., backed by Diplo & her back-up singer/dancer Cherry, plowed through just about all of her material during her 30 minute set, though it didn't seem short to me at all. She pranced around the stage confident & self-assured, often with a huge grin on her face. She broke down some dance moves with Cherry, slapped hands with the crowd & joked around with Diplo. Maya seemed to be having as good a time as the audience, and we were having a friggin' blast. She mentioned that they had just finished shooting a video for "Bucky Done Gun," which I hope gets some stateside airtime. To no one's surprise, "Galang" closed out the main set, with the audience going semi-bonkers during the "YA-YA-HEY" outro. After repeated audience chants of "M-I-A," Maya came back out & encored with mashed Piracy Funds Terrorism versions of "URAQT" & "Bingo", as she had done earlier with "M.I.A.". All in all, while her stage show is still in its infancy, the girl lived up the hype IMO, though the local Sun-Times, Tribune & IL Entertainer would disagree. M.I.A.'s Metro performance does get some better reviews from Funtime OK, GigWise, ChiChronicles, JLT/JLT (who has more photos), Matty G & Kristen's Concert Blog. I'm with them.
During the setbreak, people seemed to get more insistent in their attempts to move toward the stage. Mouk, JRDN & I really had to stand firm in order to maintain our positions & not get pushed around. Annoying, but typical. After Diplo & company finished breaking down, James Murphy & crew came out to set up for their headlining set, as the crowd's anticipation built up.
I was lined up dead on with Murphy as LCD Soundsystem finally came out & he took center stage. Drummer Pat Mahoney kicked in with the opening beat of "Beat Connection" & we were off. As the rest of the band kicked in, the Metro began to move, writhe, pulsate. The dance fever escalated until it the rhythm switched up & Murphy came in with the vocals, "And nobody's falling love - everybody here needs a shove!" As a frontman, Murphy is intense at the mic, which helps since the rest of the band doesn't do much.
Murphy & company just killed throughout their set, playing most of the LCD favorites including (in no particular order) "Losing My Edge," "Give It Up," "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House," "Movement" (where I completely lost my sh**), "Tribulations," "On Repeat " & the wild set closer "Yeah (Crass)." They also played two covers, Siouxsie's "Slow Dive" and another I couldn't identify. Murphy kept ribbing bassist (and !!!/Out Hud member) Tyler Pope all nite, saying that it was "Tyler's show" and prompting audience chants of "TYLER! TYLER!" And while Radio Free Chicago may be right that Murphy's tongue-in-cheek irony/snark was mostly absent from the band's live performance, I don't think that's a bad thing. For a fun live show, especially that involves as much booty-shaking as this one did, the band has to show up with energy & excitement, not dwell in its "indie slacker" dogma. James Murphy showed up & wore my ass out big time. I was completely wiped by the end of the show, so dehydrated & tired that I had no interest in the after-party next door (where Diplo was spinning). I failed to follow my own advice: always get a bottle of water (maybe two) at a show like this. Duh.
We all cabbed it back to Mouk's APT, where I drank ALOT of water. Despite JRDN's insomnia that nite, we ventured downtown the next day to catch a certain movie (which I'll discuss in a later post), had all-you-can-eat sushi that nite & drove back to Mpls on Saturday morning. It was good times throughout, though I regret having to miss Mike Falck's bachelor party & I got stuck with the awful cold upon arrving home that plagued me all week. But LCD+MIA was worth the trip & the show lived up to my expectations.
MOV LCD Soundsystem - "Disco Infiltrator" video (19.3mb)
One song the band failed to play in Chicago was their next single, the Midnite Vultures-esque "Disco Infiltrator." The song's "day (& nite) in the life" video recently went up on the LCD website, and it's worth a look.
YES, TOMORROW IS RANAROCK MPLS - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED