December 16, 2002

Beat Surrender

First rule of show-going: never trust the showtime printed on the ticket.

I really should know better by now, but I think me and my friend Davie were just ready to mobilize, and hanging around my apartment listening to The Rapture on my stereo just wasn't doing it for us. So we ended up arriving at the Bowery Ballroom almost two hours before opening act LCD Soundsystem played a single note. Argh! Time to drink and chat with an old co-worker and sit downstairs, then go to the upstairs balcony to lounge around in one of those swanky velvet-curtained booths. (Bonus fun: peering through the window at the crowd gathered below, outside the club.)

So it wasn't too much of a drag to have so much time to kill, esp. since the scene was was set for some prime people-watching. Men all wearing the same pair glasses with those clunky black frames. Women dressed in 80s-retro fashions so ridiculous that I never would have worn them in junior high back when that shit was supposed to be fashionable the first time around. (And I used to wear neon clothing! Does anyone remember that trend? I had an entire neon ensemble consisting of a pink Bloomie's sweatshirt, striped peg-leg pants and an armful of those rubber and plastic bracelets -- all neon.)

Soon enough we were all antsy to dance, dance, dance, and LCD Soundsystem provided us with the groove in the form of set-opener "Beat Connection." And there were no turntables, but guitars, as well as bass, drums and synth, making for a largely organic sound that impressed the hell out of me, even more so when I was told later that this was their first gig ever. A couple of the songs were definitely more punk than dance, but eminently danceable all the same. And then I heard the first few loops of that ping-pong casiotone sound and all systems were go for "Losing My Edge." Massive.

Going downstairs to recover a bit from the massive dance-a-thon, I eyed the array of DFA records, CDs, badges and faux-denim iron-on patches on the merch table at the foot of the stairs. Making a mental note to later pick up a copy of the new LCD Soundsystem single ("Give It Up") and a Rapture LP (The Mirror), I walked on by for the time being. We soon found ourselves sinking deep into the comfy clutches of an enormous leather sofa, from which we observed fans approach the nattily-dressed (as always) Carlos from Interpol and Felix Da Housecat.

Somehow we managed to slither off the couch and make our way upstairs in time for... some unfunny and largely incomprehensible stand-up "comedy" act who seemed somewhat obsessed with The Strokes. Um, band please? PLEASE???

But when The Rapture came on all was forgiven. We were all dancing like it was 1981 (check out Miss Modern Age's excellent pics), and enjoying the punk, skronk, dance groove. Even though I was a bit underwhelmed by the band's Sub Pop CD, their live performance was somethin' else, reminding me of Public Image Ltd. (incl. the singer's John Lydon yowl, minus the warble) and mebbe a touch of James Chance (because of the sax, surely). Shake down!

Posted by nstop at December 16, 2002 11:59 PM


eek! i had one of those bloomie's neon sweatshirts. :)

Posted by: Athena on December 17, 2002 02:15 PM

ack! make the wmsburg 80s retro thing stop STOP STOP! seriously, i can't take it.

Posted by: harold_ikes on December 17, 2002 04:01 PM

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