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Coachella 2010: The white hot center of LCD Soundsystem's 'Yeah'

April 17, 2010 |  2:07 pm

Lcd LCD Soundsystem is no stranger to Coachella (it last performed in 2008) but last night marked the first time its members banged their cowbells and sent out their roiling rhythms on the main stage. They didn't let the big time snuff out their party -- the camera, at one point, caught keyboardist and pow-pow yelper Nancy Whang pouring an ample supply of vodka into a water bottle.  

Will LCD Soundsystem ever lose its edge? Maybe one day but for now, with a new album of icy party-starters coming May 18, it didn't seem worried about it. Dressed in his usual all-white, James Murphy sang the band-checking hit -- Modern Lovers, Captain Beefheart, Gil Scott Heron, a fellow Coachella performer who got a special shout-out -- with the casual triumph of a guy who's still perched on the precipice. All around his speak-singing, tufts of bass from Tyler Pope and keyboard percolation from Angeleno David Scott Stone, who's played with the Melvins, Unwound, No Age and many others.

Stone also supplied strutting guitar for "All My Friends," which, with its running-on-empty keyboards and spent lyrics, evoked a dark night of the soul wandering home from some Red Hook loft party or another. "Drunk Girls," the de facto single from new album "This Is Happening," was its saucy counterpoint -- a barely contained blast of hedonism inspired by Murphy's time partying/recording in a Los Angeles mansion.

A few new songs were aired, including the onomatopoeia jam "Pow Pow," but easily the rager of the night was "Yeah." Killing the white lights in favor of a cool amphibian green, Murphy sat on the edge of the stage, the car-sized disco ball lazily twirling above his head. Over tectonic plates of synth and explosive drum fills, the song burrowed deeper and deeper, goading the crowd, goading itself to lose everything -- any worries, any self-doubt, any thought of what you might have to do tomorrow -- in the blistering, ego-escaping center. It's so deep, only the word "yeah" can suffice.

--Margaret Wappler

Photo: James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem performs at Coachella on Friday. Credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images