Over the past decade, music festivals across the U.S. have begun hosting “official aftershows” as a part of their weekend experience. Despite admission generally not being included with the purchase price of a weekend wristband, aftershows have become an essential part of the overall festival experience, drawing not only attendees with a desire to see an artist more than once or make up for a missed set, but locals from around town wishing to step into the experience, if just for one evening.
Over Halloween weekend, Voodoo Music + Art executed the practice flawlessly with four nights of official aftershows featuring Prophets of Rage, Ghostland Observatory, Illenium, Ron Gallow and LCD Soundsystem, among others. Of particular note was LCD Soundsystem’s sweaty, disco-infused, Halloween dance-athon that took place in the historic Orpheum Theater in downtown New Orleans. Built in 1918, this historic building, with its high balconies and shallow depth, provided the perfect space for an intimate evening with LCD Soundsystem. As lead singer James Murphy observed, no matter where an audience member was in the theater, they felt close.
The evening began with disco vibes in the air as old records resonated subtly throughout the venue after doors opened and patrons waited patiently for the main performance. When the clock finally struck midnight, the evening kicked into high gear as stage hands made the final preparations for LCD Soundsystem’s impending entrance. Before long, the eight performing members of LCD Soundsystem manned their respective music stations across the stage and engaged the analog synths, percussion, keys, guitar and vocals that comprise the bands unique sound for an epic evening.
After opening with “Us V Them,” a track from their 2007 album “Sound of Silver,” James Murphy, Nancy Whang and the remaining group members took the audience on a musical journey through their sporadic discography of releases from 2005-2007, 2010, and 2017. Touring to promote their latest album, “american dream,” nearly one-third of the evening’s setlist was comprised of tracks from the new album, while the remaining two-thirds intermixed older fan favorites ranging from “Someone Great,” to “Dance Yrself Clean” and “All My Friends.”
In addition to the great performance and great music, this Deja Voodoo set was made even better by the rambunctious and costume-clad fans who literally filled the building from floor to ceiling. On the lowest level of the venue, the GA audience took no time in making the standing-room-only area a large dance party to which all fans were invited. Moving upwards a flight of stairs, the first balcony level consisted of a wide range of fans including those wearing business casual, older attendees who appreciated the luxury of an occasional rest between songs, and fans who simply wanted a new perspective from which to view their favorite band. Last, but certainly not least, were those who self-quarantined themselves up in the top viewing deck of the theater. Fortunate enough to have their own bar and ample space in which to dance, these fans ensured that any visitors to the top deck were welcomed with open arms and included in the secluded festivities.
By the end of the evening, both fans and the band had downed several adult-beverages, excused themselves for the necessary restroom break – James Murphy even excused the group in the latter portion of the evening for a quick bathroom break – and “danced themselves clean.” For anyone fortunate enough to have any energy at 2A.M., after the 2+ hour performance, the doors on Bourbon Street were wide open for business.