Austin, Texas, SXSW 2005
Elysium, Thursday, March 17
The throng at LCD Soundsystem's SXSW showcase was drunk, sweaty, and rude, explained in part by its being St. Patrick's Day; the frat boys were riled-up by all the "sexy leprechaun" ladies. James Murphy was the perfect antidote. The very inebriated LCD Soundsystem frontman took on the crowd, slurring one-liners and way too many bits of technical advice for the soundman. ("Hey, I'm drunk and can't hear myself!") Between the first few cuts, Murphy initiated discussion about what monitor needed what instrument in it, and it was beginning to wear on the crowd's coke-saturated nerves. (His assertion that "You all paid zero dollars for this show and you want your money's worth" received blank stares.) As the quintet slinked into "Beat Connection" and "Give It Up," the crowd finally started dancing to the pogo-ready beats. Murphy approached his cowbell solo during "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" like a full-contact sport; eyes closed, mouth opened in orgasmic bliss. Throughout the energetic set, Murphy also made sure to get in his jabs at everyone from cheesy alt-rock bands to sleazy industry-types. When the opening beat of "Losing My Edge" began, the congregation whooped in support, making Murphy's screams of "But I was there!" sound less like a robotic hipster response and more like testimony.