Only a few photographers were lucky enough to get a press pass for LCD Soundsystem’s show Monday night, the third of their seven-night residency at Brooklyn Steel this month. I was one of them. I say lucky because first time I wrote to the publicist about covering the residency, I heard back that they weren’t doing press for those dates—then last minute on Monday, I got an email saying I’d be on the list for that night.
But I also say we were lucky (there were maybe six or seven of us at the show) because the first thing that you saw when you walked into the venue that night were posters on the walls saying “PLEASE NO PHOTO OR VIDEO” and “BE HERE ENJOY THE SHOW,” encouraging (or instructing) the audience to put their phones away. There were also posters that read “STROBES WILL BE IN USE THIS EVENING,” hinting as to how much fun we’d have that night.
Before entering the photo area near the stage, we were told we could only shoot during the very first song of the show (usually concert photographers are allowed to shoot during the first three songs). So we had to shoot as many as we could during “Us v Them,” and to enjoy what it was like to be photographing LCD Soundsystem during those few minutes.
When the song was over, we went back to the audience, the one that was so disconnected from their phones and paying attention only to James Murphy and his band, to the music, to the lights, to the shiny disco ball, and to everyone else in the crowd.
Without a thousand phone screens in the air between the audience and the stage, watching LCD Soundsystem felt like a dream. We heard four new songs from the band’s upcoming record American Dream, and sang to their old hits like “Dance Yrself Clean” and “All My Friends.” It felt just like a show before the smartphone era, when the only thing that mattered was seizing the moment.