We Went to a Show - LCD Soundsystem at Place Bell, Laval

 Review by Colin Crawford               Photos by Jack Mckay


Making our way way North to Laval, Holy Smokes caught the one and only LCD Soundsystem on their American Dream tour. The brand new 10 000 person Place Bell  hockey arena was about two-thirds full on this Saturday night, absently bobbing to DJ Jay Green’s funk and disco in anticipation. As the lights dimmed, the crowd roared, and James Murphy joined his small army of multi-instrumentalists on stage. Walls of obscure Moog synthesizers, guitars, keyboards and various percussion kits surrounded each of the band members, crowding the scene. In their tongue-perpetually-in-cheek fashion, LCD opened up with Yr City’s a Sucker, which we hope was a playful dig at the decidedly not-Montreal location of the show.


Hair greying and beard white, Murphy unapologetically shook his dad-bod around for two hours, a mic in one hand and drumstick in the other for his clave block rig. Under the beams of the disco ball, waves of LCD’s noisey dance-punk ballads washed over the crowd, hit after hit. Seeing this group live in 2017 reaffirms the fact that the music has aged well. Murphy’s infamous wry wit and ironic posturing are never too serious, transitioning smoothly into more mature and sincere themes on the 2017 record American Dream. Alongside jokes about catching a cold and taking the encore break to pee, Murphy also included some physical gags, stealing a tom from drummer Pat Mahoney and carrying it across the stage to Al Doyle for the drop of Dance Yrself Clean, as well as bringing out opening DJ Jay Green for five individual vibraslap solos.

From dancing, to laughing, to crying (because let’s face it –who can hold back the tears when hearing New York I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down or Someone Great), it goes without saying that LCD Soundsystem puts on a hell of a show, and only time will tell what we’ll see next from Murphy and his team.

Thanks to Evenko and Place Bell for hosting us.

-Colin Crawford