The Observatory in Santa Ana began filling up for LCD Soundsystem with anticipated concertgoers at around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday. After songs like “Tripping Out” by Curtis Mayfield created a groovy ambiance and the opening DJ, Poolside, played their set. The lights lowered and an infectious beat filled the room when the electronic rock band took the stage.
LCD Soundsystem did not disappoint at their only show in Orange County. The highly anticipated event had everyone in the crowd dancing to exhaustion from frontman James Murphy’s pitch-perfect vocals and mesmerizing dance moves.
But before LCD Soundsystem rocked The Observatory, Los Angeles-native Poolside, a “daytime disco” DJ act consisting of Jeffrey Paradise, started the night off. Songs like an edited version of Phil Collins’ “I’m Not Moving” by Vitesse Nayway and “Risin’ To The Top” by Keni Burke entertained the crowd and had at least one person holding their phone up trying to Shazam with every song.
But with the band’s bulky synths and instruments covering almost every inch of the stage, Paradise decided to conduct his set from behind the scenes, making it easy to confuse the music at the venue and leaving fans wondering as to whether the opener was ever going to come out at all.
After Poolside’s set, LCD Soundsystem slowly came out from the shadows to the sound of the roaring crowd welcoming them onto the stage. They started their two-hour performance with “Yr City’s A Sucker” off their self-titled album with the stage set to a dark red lighting.
While waiting for the band to play “Get Innocuous!,” Murphy had one request for the sold out venue of enthusiastic fans.
“Ask yourself, ‘If the best way to enjoy tonight with a really small place where we’re all really close, is maybe not to film every second of it?’ I’m not being a judgemental jerk, I get it,” Murphy said. “ You’re having your time, and you want to remember your time and share it with your friends. That’s cool, but can we be done with it now so we’re all just here together?”
The band played an array of songs from their discography with classics like “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House,” “Someone Great” and “You Wanted A Hit” and songs “tonite,” “i used to” and “oh baby” from their latest album “American Dream” that came out in 2017.
During a break, Murphy addressed to the crowd that it was synth player Gavin Rayna Russom’s birthday that day. Murphy started singing happy birthday to her and the audience quickly joined to wish Russom a happy 44th birthday.
Keyboardist and singer Nancy Whang performed a cover of Chic’s “I Want Your Love” before the band took off for an intermission. When they came back for their encore, the band performed songs “emotional haircut” and one of their most popular songs “Dance Yrself Clean”
The Observatory announced LCD Soundsystem’s more personal show in the beginning of February and sold out as soon as tickets went on sale.
Mother frickin LCD Soundsystem! We were fortunate enough to capture the enormously popular band at the @observatoryoc before they head to the @hollywoodbowl for two nights. More photos + words online now only at GET SOME MAG DOT COM. ?: @patrickrecord. #lcdsoundsystem #intimacy #soldout #g #hollywood #theobservatory #jamesmurphy #nyc #music
In comparison to their two-day residency at the Hollywood Bowl on May 4 and 5, this show was an intimate experience for a band of their scale.
LCD Soundsystem have headlined festivals like Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Lollapalooza in 2016, and had a sold-out five-day residency at the Hollywood Palladium back in November of 2017. They even had Rolling Stone magazine consider their performance at Madison Square Garden back in 2011 as one of the “50 greatest performances in the last 50 years” before they left on a five-year hiatus.
For those who missed out on the band’s intimate show in Santa Ana, LCD Soundsystem’s upcoming shows in Los Angeles on Friday and Saturday are a must.