The DMV edition of the Re:SET Festival drew to a close last Sunday at Merriweather, featuring sets from L’Rain, IDLES, Jamie XX, and LCD Soundsystem.
(I also saw Friday’s show featuring boygenius, and it was apparent that the audience on Sunday skewed older.)
I missed L’Rain’s set due to traffic (the Beltway strikes again!) but made it just in time to catch another brilliant set by IDLES, who are relentlessly touring the USA over and over again. This was the band’s seventh area performance since 2019 (eighth if you count their Tiny Desk performance), and it’s been a treat to watch them graduate from the Rock and Roll Hotel to the 9:30 Club to The Anthem and now Merriweather.
I don’t have much new to say that I haven’t covered in those previous shows but IDLES looked right at home on the huge Merriweather stage, while mixing their unmatched energy and sincere vibes. Their set featured five songs from 2021’s Crawler but most of the crowd pleasers continue to come from 2018’s Joy as an Act of Resistance, including the closing trio of “Never Fight a Man With a Perm,” “Danny Nedelko,” and “Rottweiler.”
Taking the stage after a set from IDLES seems like a tricky thing to do, so all respect to Jamie XX for his efforts, but having a DJ set of UK garage directly after a monster set of rock might have been too much of a shift for the majority of attendees. There were definitely pockets of people grooving and dancing, but most people took this time to grab food and prepare for the night’s headliners. That said, Jamie XX certainly did his best to set a vibe and keep it going, performing in front of a giant disco ball and light show that got more intense as the sun went down.
Headliners LCD soundsystem took the stage a little after 9pm and played an all-killer, no-filler set for their first area appearance since a two-night run at The Anthem in 2017.
The drum heavy “Get Innocuous” kicked off the set and the group rode that groove through the rest of the night. Highlights included “I Can Change,” “Tribulations,” “Home,” and “Losing my Edge.” The recently released song “New Body Rhumba” also made it into the set and fit right in with the rest of the band’s catalog.
Stream “New Body Rhumba” by LCD Soundsystem on YouTube:
Bassist Tyler Pope was absent due to sickness, so various crew members filled in for him throughout the night. IDLES bassist Adam “Dev” Devonshire filled in when the band covered Joy Division’s “No Love Lost.” James Murphy switched back and forth between singing and drumming all night, occasionally addressing the crowd. Guitarist Al Doyle roamed around as much as he could given the sheer amount of equipment on the stage and keyboardist and singer Nancy Whang held it down center stage.
The best part of the night was the drop literally everyone in the crowd was waiting for in “Dance Yrself Clean.” They closed the set with “All My Friends,” a fitting end to the three-day festival.
I’m very interested to see if/how the re:Set Concert Series returns next year. The idea behind it is great but needs some slight tweaks. Overall, I found the choice of headliners interesting considering boygenius was the only one to release new music this year.
Here are more photos of LCD Soundsystem performing at the Re:SET Festival Day 3 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. All photos by Kyle Gustafson.
Here are more photos of IDLES performing at the Re:SET Festival Day 3 at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Here are more photos of Jamie XX performing at the Re:SET Festival Day 3 at Merriweather Post Pavilion.