Oh Land. Cut/Copy. LCD soundsystem.
So it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. Been very busy, been sort of ill, been sleeping little, been writing nothing… but that changes today… or at least today I decided to take a break, sleep some more, let my stomach rest, and update the blog. Tomorrow we can go back to “normal”.
Also, I’ve been thinking about the blog, and the direction I want to take with it. Let’s just say I’m making it more cohesive. But enough about this… let’s get on to the actual content.
It all started the night of March 29th, the first of 4 intimately beautiful evenings with Danish talent juggernaut couple Nana Øland Fabricius and Eske Kath during their residency at Charles Bank Gallery (or what I like to call work). The previously dark and quiet white cube was now turned into an equally dark, yet radiantly colorful pays des rêves, where industry people, as well as elated fans gathered to listen to Oh Land’s 30 minute “picnic setup” (as she dubbed it) music sets. Oh Land, accompanied by a string quartet, played 6 to 7 of her debut album’s songs, in a more toned down manner that made it feel more personal and cozy.
At first I thought of writing about a specific night, but since I figured plenty of bloggers would take that approach, I decided to take my own approach, and write about the experience as a whole. Each evening was essentially the same, but the slight differences made each night feel fresh, and equally intimate. I truly enjoyed listening to Oh Land’s captivating hymns slowed down and sang in a way that, to me, it felt one-on-one. Melodies like “White Nights” and “Rainbow” have been gleefully stuck in my head since. However, her latest single, “son of a gun”, was especially memorable, since it was the one song that was the most different from it’s original version.
The entire experience came together flawlessly. The welcoming music, along with the cheery art installations (courtesy of Kath), and Oh Land’s incredible stage persona and forward outfits, brought an all together positive feel-good feeling to my slightly ill self (the weekend prior, I had indulged myself in oysters and ended up with a severe case of unsexy food poisoning). to tommelfingre op!!
Friday night, after amassing a slight buzz at the gallery during the closing night of Oh Land’s residency, my best friend in the planet came to visit to accompany me to Cut/Copy, who were performing at Terminal 5. In our usual manner, we showed up late, half hour after they had started playing… but regardless, it was in*effing*credible.
Cut/Copy is one of those bands that just know how to put on a good show. This was my third time seeing them, and after purchasing their latest album a month earlier, and listening to it compulsively, I was quite excited.
The show was a good mix of old and new songs, as well as fans. The crowd, composed mostly of college kids (when the hell did Cut/Copy start playing on college radio!?), and a few kids who you could tell knew the band since the beginning because they would sing along to their debut 2004’s “Bright Like Neon Love” tunes, was feeling the music… some more than others due to “chemical enhancing helpers”, but who’s judging?
After about 40 minutes, the band went backstage, and started the whole ritualistic encore process. We chanted “one more song”. They obliged. Three more songs, and then they went back into obscurity. Me and my friend rushed towards the coat check, but just as we turned the corner to get in the massive cue waiting for their outerwear, Cut/Copy decided to delight us with a second encore. We rushed to the edge of the balcony and enjoyed two more songs. They blissfully ended their never-disappointing show with “Feel the Love”. We left happy, despite the fact that I lost my third $100 umbrella in less than a year.
On our way back to my apartment, my friend called me and mentioned that he was heading to Le Bain @ the Standard for LCD sound system’s last dj set ever (as they are breaking up). Surely this was not something to be missed, so we caught a cab and directed our derriers to the corner of West 13th and Washington in the meat packing. As usual, there was a massive wait… but we managed to use our frequent-club-going powers and finagle our way in. Upstairs, the place was painfully packed. It was a mission to reach the bar, and an even harder task to grab one of the American Apparel clad bartenders’ attention. My friend was feeling sick, and so was I (the whole week had been crazy and I hadn’t given my body time to recoup from the food poisoning, but enough with my excuses). We didn’t stay for long. Saw LCD dj for a bit, and opted to go rest. I did, however, found out/remembered that LCD would play their last show ever the next evening at Madison Square Garden.
I woke up Saturday and before anything else looked for tickets for LCD’s show. As I expected, they were sold out and stubhub.com was charging the equivalent of a pot belly pig for one of them! Surely not worth it (or so I thought). I went to work, and periodically kept checking to see if the fares would decrease. As the time approached, the prices did go down, so at around 16h30 I purchased a floor ticket for twice as much as it normally cost. Before you judge, I’ve been known to do worse. OK… Judge away.
Right after work, I headed home, took a party nap, put on my heels (yes, that’s how I’ve christened my YSL Jonny boots), and rushed to MSG. As I’ve said, I’m notorious for being late to shows, so yes, the show had already started. First thing I see as I’m waiting in cue for a beer (which btw took forever! the woman behind the counter was probably reveling in our misery as she slowly poured beer onto plastic cups with a glacial pace), was a pair of middle age hasbeens dressed head to toe in white, with sunglasses, and clearly enjoying some MDMA. Twenty painful minutes later I get my beers and head to my seat. I have to say, I had amazing seats.
I immediately sank into the beats and entered my own self-induced euphoric state. I closed my eyes and danced, and danced, and danced. The show was amazing. They honestly must have played every song they’ve ever made. The whole thing lasted 3 hours and 45 minutes with 3 intermissions. It was ecstatic. We call came together as one fusing with the music, the lights, and each other.
James Murphy guided us through a variety of emotions. I felt like part of a giant family during “All my Friends”. Felt slightly violent during “Us V Them”. Felt like a college kid during “North American Scum” (during which, by the way, he invited some of the members of Arcade Fire on stage with him). And finally, felt nostalgic during his closing ballad “New York I Love You, But You’re Bringing me Down”.
It was perfectly orchestrated, and made me think: yes, a small pig would probably be cute to own, but this show will remain ingrained in my cerebral pathways for longer than the life of such pig. I could tell you about what I did the rest of the night, but it wouldn’t live up to this, so why bother?