It isn’t often that popular music gives us a figure like James Murphy – the artist better known as LCD Soundsystem is an Everyman hero with a generous paunch, two-day stubble and a defiantly scruffy style. That hasn’t stopped LCD Soundsystem from becoming the very definition of cool, but their success is down to Murphy’s talent and songwriting rather than a carefully cultivated image.
Murphy might trade in joyous dance music, but his gigs don’t consist of one man, a laptop and a synthesiser – the stage was a teeming mess of cables and instruments, with up to seven musicians playing the beautifully rhythmic sound that Murphy has perfected over three lauded albums.
He kept the small talk to a minimum, apologising for not making the originally scheduled dates back in April – foiled by that disruptive Icelandic volcano – and instead concentrated on getting through the hits.
He could afford to drop party staples such as Daft Punk Are Playing At My Houseand Drunk Girlsrelatively early in the set, but when he launched into an electrifying rendition of All My Friends,the reaction was euphoric.
The roar of approval at the end of the song was the sound of pure elation – at moments like these, there is no finer venue in Dublin than Tripod – and it seemed the performance could only get better.
But that momentum was lost with some more sombre numbers, and as the show progressed, Murphy appeared somewhat distracted, at one point sauntering off to stage left to negotiate with the mixing desk, apparently unhappy with the levels.
An epic, intense Yeahand his traditional closer New York I Love Youwere other highlights, but it was nonetheless a somewhat uneven set.
It’s undoubtedly true, however, that even a mixed LCD Soundsystem gig is still far more satisfying than most of what the competition offers.