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LCD Soundsystem shut up and played the hits at Panorama

It was their first huge New York City show since reuniting

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Sean O'Kane

When James Murphy and the rest of LCD Soundsystem finished ripping through the opening one-two punch of "Us V Them" and "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House," they took a breath to offer up a sort of apology. "We're trying to get through as many songs as we can tonight," said Murphy. "Excuse us if it's fast and we don't talk a lot." The dance-punk veterans may have been closing out the Panorama festival as hometown heroes, but no amount of civic goodwill can overpower a noise curfew, so they kept the banter to a minimum and the pace brisk. I can't imagine any of the fans who spent the night dancing across Randall's Island complaining.

The Verge has partnered up with the Panorama music, art, and technology festival taking place in New York City this July. We'll be talking to the artists playing the festival and shaping the future of music in the weeks leading up to the show.

The band had just enough time to offer up something for everyone. It was a generous, career-spanning set that included both early breakouts (like "Losing My Edge," still dry and hilarious 14 years later) and late-period classics from 2010's This Is Happening. "Movement" and "Yeah" served as proof that LCD Soundsystem could've easily been a gut-punching, no-holds-barred punk band in a different era; "Dance Yrself Clean" and the "outer space" section of 45:33 (an unexpected highlight) indulged the band's freakiest, funkiest impulses. When Murphy & co. tucked into anthemic weepers like "Someone Great" and closer "All My Friends," you could feel tens of thousands of people exhaling and looking back on their lives at once.

You had to listen closely to remember it's been six years since the band's studio swan song. When Murphy started crooning "New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down," he had to sing about Michael Bloomberg's reign as mayor — the "mild billionaire who's convinced he's a king" — in the past tense, and a penultimate performance of "Bye Bye Bayou" devoted to the late Alan Vega was a reminder that everything has to come to an end someday. Every other minute felt timeless, a tour de force from a band that still sounds like it has plenty to prove and energy to spare.

LCD Soundsystem at Panorama NYC


Photos by Sean O'Kane