More than year now into their unexpected and exciting reunion, after first calling it quits in 2011, seminal dance punks LCD Soundsystem have finally made good the the promise of a new album with this year’s triumphant American Dream. After a year of mostly festival dates and New York residencies, including headlining spots at Bonnaroo and Forecastle, the band are also finally embarking on a short headlining tour, which, as we previously announced, brings them to Nashville proper for the first time since a tiny appearance more than a decade ago tonight, Oct. 20 at Nashville Municipal Auditorium, with random but welcome opener Big Freedia, the Queen Diva. Tickets are still available here, and after two summers of soaking up their transcendent festival appearances, we absolutely implore you to check it out. Read all about the show below!
When rumors broke in late 2015 that LCD Soundsystem would be reuniting, it definitely came as something of a shock. Though dearly missed, and certainly beloved by millions, it felt like the seminal dance punks had just called it quits, playing what was purported to be their final show ever in the spring of 2011 at Madison Square Garden (the event was subsequently chronicled in a documentary, Shut Up and Play the Hits, and a live album, The Long Goodbye: LCD Soundsystem Live at Madison Square Garden). A couple months of speculation turned into revelation, when, shortly after the surprise release of a new track, “Christmas Will Break Your Heart,” the band made their return official, announcing a headlining spot at Coachella (and, subsequently, countless other summer festivals in 2016 and 2017), and the promise of a new album, something frontman James Murphy justified in a lengthy essay after mild outcry over such a quick return. That album, American Dream, finally arrived this year, and, as anticipated, is a total triumph, singlehandedly justifying the group’s return, and landing on a short list for album of the year.
Formed in 2002 in New York, the band released an early barrage of singles which drummed up buzz within the dance community, before winning over critics and fans alike with their incredible, eponymous 2005 debut. A Grammy nomination and boosted presence would follow, and, with 2007’s Sound of Silver, the group settled into an even more cohesive, eclectic, dance-infused, electronic sound, which earned high critical buzz and further commercial attention. By 2010’s This Is Happening, LCD Soundsystem’s most beloved album, and arguably a modern classic, the band were superstars, heralded as the generation’s premiere dance rock band of the indie world. Soon after their third LP, however, LCD abruptly decided to call it quits, the pressure of operating at such a large scale seemingly weighing on Murphy’s artistic psyche. Sure, maybe they shouldn’t have definitively announced their disbandment, especially since the music is effectively the product of one man, and it’s easy for one person to change their mind, but, regardless of circumstance, we’re just thrilled to have one of the best bands of the last decade back in action.
A longtime, important fixture in the New Orleans bounce hip hop scene (“a subgenre of hip-hop born out of New Orleans and known for its call and response style and lightening speed booty-shaking dance”), Big Freedia cemented her status as a regional star for the first decade of her career, including as one of the hardest working, earliest acts to return to the city after Hurricane Katrina, before spilling out into broader mainstream recognition. Raised on a steady diet of gospel, soul, and hip hop, the singer was born Freddie Ross, and seemingly identifies as a gay man, though prefers female pronouns as a performing artist. Nicknamed “The Queen Diva,” Freedia got her musical start in the late ’90s performing alongside local artist Katey Red, before releasing a string of solo albums throughout the ’00s. A 2009 performance at New Orleans’ Voodoo Fest would prove to be her big break, and quickly let to subsequent festival appearances, showcases, late night TV sets, visual art collaborations, media acclaim, and high-profile tour opportunities. Over the past few years, Freedia has appeared on HBO, led a crowd to set a Guinness record, starred in her own FUSE reality show, penned an autobiography, and appeared on Beyoncé’s “Formation,” which is just about as high-profile as it gets. Known for her outlandish live show, complete with backup dancers The Divas, Big Freedia, whose last release was 2014’s Just Be Free, is not just an artist, but a cultural phenomenon.
LCD Soundsystem and Big Freedia will perform tonight, Oct. 20 at Nashville Municipal Auditorium. The show is all ages, begins at 8 p.m., and tickets are available to purchase for $33.75-63.75.