Everybody loves a comeback story, but maybe no one loves it more than Hollywood. It’s a town where you can be caught lofting anti-Semitic slurs in one moment and cheered for an Academy Award nomination the next. It’s a place that could tattoo the sentiment “absence makes the heart grow fonder” in tiny script on its chest, a place where the curtain never quite falls for good, where even the deceased could be resurrected to dance with a vacuum cleaner during the Super Bowl.
James Murphy and his band LCD Soundsystem didn’t really leave the public eye in anywhere near the same level of controversy as someone like Mel Gibson, but their retirement and rebirth within the span of five years did catch the ire of some fans, enough so that Murphy felt the need to apologize to anyone that felt taken advantage of or mislead. In a long statement posted upon confirmation of the first reunion shows in January of 2016, Murphy spoke directly to those that felt most betrayed:
“i’m seriously sorry. the only thing we can do now is get back into the studio and finish this record, and make it as fucking good as we can possibly make it. it needs to be better than anything we’ve done before, in my mind, because it won’t have the help of being the first time. and we have to play better than we’ve ever played, frankly. every show has to be better than the best show we’ve played before for anyone to even say ‘well, that was good. i mean, not as good as they used to be. but, you know. it was good.’ we know all that. which is healthy for us, because it means we go back to war, like in the beginning. for us it was always war, but now it’s really with ourselves. maybe we have a chance to make it right.”
But now that it has been a full two years since the NYC indie electronic legends returned to headline Coachella, the circumstances for their reunion feels like ancient history. The band has headlined virtually every major festival in the world, and between those moments, they’ve managed to record a new album of critically acclaimed (and Grammy-winning) new material in the form of last year’s American Dream and peppered in enough small venue appearances to give fans of all level the LCD experience they’ve been pining for. The almost unreasonably high expectations that the band put out there for themselves has been reached by nearly every conceivable metric. Sure, some fans might not love the new album as much a previous ones, or think the band has lost a step. But what remains important is the overwhelming majority thinks that the band remains vital and turns out in mass to support them. In short, this comeback has been an unprecedented success.