I Am There


By: Tristan Bannerman


Photo Credit: Stereogum

A cold film of sweat covers my body. My shirt loosely drapes over me, following the movement of my arms, which are following the movement of the sound. I smell weed and the stench of beer, so strong that I can taste it. The noise is loud. I feel my throat closing up. The instruments are shaking.

The day had started with a cold sweat and an uneasy feeling in my body as I sat on a Greyhound bus from Toronto to Detroit. After a pit stop in London and a slow drive through the tunnel leaving Windsor, I was finally in the Motor City. I briefly close my eyes in my rented apartment. When I open them, I am standing outside the Detroit Masonic Temple waiting with all the other current and former indie kids of the greater Detroit area.

I am not wearing enough layers. My arms feel cold pressed up against the metal barrier separating the stage from the audience. I stand staring at the equipment while someone DJ’s in the corner of the stage. I do this for two hours. Then, they finally walk out. Smoke fills the stage and the lights focus in. Everyone is cheering and clapping, and James Murphy lightly waves to the audience. Then, blackout.

I think that anyone who has listened to LCD Soundsystem has had a totally unique and transcendent experience either with or through them. Their music is designed for that teenage feeling—that you are a part of the most mostest thing in the world, the most beautiful love story or most tragic heartbreak. It’s a two hour feeling that you share with the performers and with everyone around you.

We wanted a hit and every song they played was a hit. LCD is a band to see and hear; their music is made for large venues, but you are supposed to feel like it’s a basement show. Getting caught up in that is enthralling. You find yourself letting go and dancing. I never asked what the next song was.

The cold film of sweat is drying. My shirt is flapping around again, but this time due to the cold wind funneling down the street. I am walking away from “All My Friends,” my teeth chattering, hoping the Lyft I called will arrive sooner. I get back to my apartment and fall asleep to the ringing in my ears.

A week later, I am visiting a friend and listening to LCD Soundsystem. I sit there in her dorm alone on the verge of tears. My friend wakes up. I snap out of it—a unique and transcendent experience from James Murphy and company.

This article was originally published on our old website at https://thenewspaper.ca/the-arts/i-am-there/.