Gig Review | LCD Soundsystem | The Barrowland Ballroom | Glasgow | 01.07.24

A band like LCD Soundsystem have endless meaning to everyone who loves their music. This was evident in the crowd at the second of three sold-out shows at Glasgow’s iconic Barrowland Ballroom this Monday. Every person there had a different story to tell. Some have been listening to the New York-founded project since their early/late teens whilst others grew up with their families’ love for the band and inevitably caught the bug along the way and of course, some here are still relatively new having found the effortless collective later in life. Despite differences in story and appearance, we all had one thing in common, getting to witness this part of history meant the world to us. 

Shit Robot ran the show from doors right up until almost the moment LCD Soundsystem took to stage. The Irish DJ (real name Marcus Lambkin) has been signed to James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem’s record label since the early 2000’s. Tonight he was high above the crowd in what seemed to be a custom made booth with only a small rectangle to look out. He was the perfect opener tonight and had everyone moving from the minute they walked into the room.

The lights dimmed and the Throbbing Gristle track ‘Something Came Over Me’ spilled out from the speakers. Before it could finish James Murphy, Nancy Whang, Pat Mahoney, Al Doyle, Abby Echiverri and Kori Richey and co took to the stage. I could go on to tell you the multiple instruments and roles they all have in the band as I usually would but when it comes to LCD Soundsystem this list would quickly become far too long.

‘I Can Change’ was an early gem. From the band’s 2010 album This Is Happening it has remained one of their most popular hits. While it moves slower than their other tracks it is still perfect to dance along to and really sets the tone for the trance-like evening. 

James soon took to the mic to share ‘We did a little googling and the first time we played here was 2005 so almost 20 years ago’. From the cheer that erupted from the crowd, you got the sense that some of these people had been here back then too. He joked that it was a ‘lack of creativity’ on the band’s part to be back but added ‘this is our favourite venue to play’. A notable compliment coming from a man that has graced an impressive amount of stages all over the world.

‘tonite’ from the 2017 album american dream picked up the pace as the crystal balls hanging from the ceiling glistened under the bright lighting. 

The room was packed, no wallflowers in sight. Everyone was dancing no matter how far from the stage they were and as a result it was fairly heating up. This wasn’t lost on James as he commented ‘It’s very warm. It’s too warm. It’s like the inside of a dog’s mouth’. We all laughed at this unexpected comparison. Enduring a little heat was no hardship when tracks like ‘Daft Punk is Playing at my House’ are on the bill though.

Upon finishing ‘Home’ James announced the band and he would now be taking a ‘pee pee break’ but promised to be back. No pretension of an encore but they were still cheered back to stage as they would have been for the dramatics. 

They wasted no time and launched straight into the epic ‘Dance Yrself Clean’. The track builds until the point of no return and as it dropped we all lost ourselves in the rhythm. Before any of us had time to catch our breath we were plunged into the emotional piano of ‘New York, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down’ which was soon followed by ‘All My Friends’. The perfect end to a night that seemed too good to be true.

It’s amazing to see a Scottish owned venue like The Barrowland Ballroom hosting such monumental gigs as this three night run of shows from the legendary New York band.