James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem (Photo by Ruvan Wijesooriya)
LCD Soundsystem will play the first of two nights at The Anthem on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Those tickets sold out quickly when they went on sale, prompting LCD Soundsystem to add a second night on Wednesday, Oct. 18. Those tickets go on sale at 10am today via Ticketfly!
John MacLean and Nancy Whang of The Juan MacLean
Anticipation. That’s what happens before a The Juan MacLean show.
Doors opened at 10:00pm at the U Street Music Hall for the modest line that had formed outside. Once inside, the sign at the ticket counter hinted the band was scheduled to go on at 11:30pm.
With time to kill, with a drink and a conversation, one could groove to Tommy Cornelis owning the DJ booth. He gave the growing crowd, many fitted with full backpacks, amble reason to dance.
And dance they did, because 11:30 came and went. Tommy kept the momentum going. Finally, just after midnight, the members of The Juan MacLean, including it’s namesake John MacLean, took positions. After building even greater anticipation, Nancy Whang, formerly of the disbanded LCD Soundsystem, appeared on stage and began to sing in earnest.
Yet it was as if the sound was on mute. Singing was evident, but none of the lyrics escaped the stage.
Partway through the second song, something snapped and the sound came alive. The crowd let out a riotous cheer. Dancing took over, and unconvinced head nodding was a thing of the past.
New Build: Felix Martin, Joy Joseph and Al Doyle at U Street Music Hall
Al Doyle and Pat Mahoney are rather moved to be sharing a stage again.
Not that the two men share a band any longer since the dissolution of LCD Soundsystem. But their two new bands are touring together in a perfect pairing, forming something of a double bill for a tour that kicked off Tuesday night at U Street Music Hall in DC. And of course Doyle and Mahoney took time during their respective sets to voice their appreciation for each other and their new bands.
“He’s like my twin brother except I’m the balder, fatter one,” Mahoney joked of his relationship with Doyle.
Doyle’s new band New Build recently released a second album, and Mahoney’s band Museum of Love have released a debut. The plan generally is for Museum of Love to open for New Build, but a car accident prompted New Build to play first last night. (Fear not, as apparently no one was hurt!)
New Build includes Doyle and Felix Martin, both of Hot Chip. And the New Build music, although its own unique form of ambient pop, sometimes resembles the slower songs from their other shared band.
They opened their show with “The Sunlight,” the first track from the new album, Pour It On. And it’s a good opening number as it slowly builds and draws you in with its sweet synths and light drums. Doyle sings gently and slowly as he references themes that recur throughout many of New Build’s songs: the struggle of people to find themselves through analogies of lightness and darkness.
Guitarist Al Doyle, bassist Felix Martin (both of Hot Chip) and composer Tom Hopkins make up ambient synthpop band New Build, which is headlining at U Street Music Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 2. New Build are joined by Museum of Love, which features Pat Mahoney (of LCD Soundsystem) and Dennis McNany.
New Band recently released a second full-length album, Pour It On. Doyle, who also was in LCD Soundsystem, took time to talk to publicists about his past in LCD and his future with New Build
Q: What was your favorite LCD gig?
Al Doyle: Probably the one which I thought was my last ever gig, at the end of the Sound of Silver tour when James said he wasn’t making another record. We played “New York, I Love You” and I was totally in tears, just broken down and sobbing, and to add to it James started singing “Al Doyle, I Love You” and that was just too much. Never been so mushed up on stage before or since — actually, talking about it now it probably wasn’t my “favorite” gig, but it was a singular experience. Very grainy footage here: