And this is how you do a comeback performance setlist. (Thanks to the fellow dancer who shared it with me!) Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Greetings from cloud 11 (because that’s how high this cloud goes). Anyone who has been reading this column for a while knows what a huge LCD Soundsystem fanatic I am, even flying to New York from SF for their final show at Madison Square Garden almost exactly five years ago. So recently the band decided to get back together (YES) and started announcing dates for their comeback tour, like Coachella and Panorama, the new festival here in New York.
But all of a sudden, out of the blue, last Thursday LCD announces two surprise nights for their first shows at Webster Hall in the East Village, Back from the Dead (an Easter resurrection joke from the band, ha-ha). Commence pandemonium. I start asking all my friends to enter the lottery to buy tickets; set up alerts on all my social media channels from the venue, band, promoters, and more; and reach out to the band and promoter’s PR. I call the venue asking about extra tickets being released. I try to think of anyone, anyone, who can help. Yes, FULL COURT PRESS.
I strike out on the lottery, and then begin to be supremely grossed out by the $600-plus ticket prices people start asking on Craigslist and ticket sites. Scammers, meanwhile, are having a field day because there are no hard tickets, just printouts, so it’s easy to sell the same ticket multiple times and screw everyone. I post daily on Craigslist, dealing with flaky ticket holders who won’t meet at the venue so I can verify their ticket, and freaks who ask me to send a picture so we can make it a date (yes, I sent a couple—when your mission’s motto is BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, you have to do what you have to do).
Sunday night’s show comes and goes, no dice.
Monday, I decide I just need to head to the venue and hold out for a ticket miracle. There is no way I am going to miss this show without trying every possible angle. The line of ticket holders extends a full block, while all of us hopefuls mill around, walking up and down the street and compare notes on whether anyone is finding any tickets, while holding up our fingers in a one or two position for how many tickets we are seeking. I chat up all the security. Anyone, really. Especially the cute Brazilian man who asked me what on earth was going on, ditto the two cops in their cruiser who asked the same thing.
It’s fricking windy, and chilly, and I’m getting blasted by all the people smoking out front (my freshly washed hair smelling nastier each minute). I try not to get cranky. LCD’s show sign above Webster Hall that says “TEST IN PROGRESS/PLEASE STAND BY” becomes my mantra. I keep smiling.
Some nice guy decides he’s going to give up, and hands me the paper printout he made with the image of a hand holding up one finger. It’s useful: the paper catches people’s eyes. I keep holding on. It has been an hour, hour and a half, and then it’s 15 minutes before LCD is supposed to take the stage. Rain starts sprinkling. I’m there humming the theme to Rocky in my mind. I just can’t believe this isn’t going to happen. There is no way in a just universe I was supposed to miss that show. I’m magically in New York, amazingly so, and it feels like destiny to be able to see them. I kept focusing on my friends and sister who were sending me vibes, believing it was going to happen. Knowing.
And then the kind-faced and slightly smiling young man approaches me, our eyes lock and I say, “You have a ticket?” He does, but my $200 offer is half what he was looking for. I tell him I’m sorry, I am dying to see this show, more than he would ever imagine, but I just can’t. The woman I was chatting with starts telling him, “You have to sell it to her! You will have the best karma for life.” We all laugh.
He hangs out a little more. We keep talking. He says, “You have good energy. I really want to be able to sell it to you.” I say, “Me too!” It’s 10 minutes before showtime. He had paid $400 for the ticket for his friend to see the show, damn, and he’s not showing up. So he looks at me and says, “Okay, it’s yours.” I want to yell but he’s trying to keep the whole transaction low profile. I restrain myself from jumping up and down. My hands are shaking, my smile enough to power four New York boroughs.
As I peel off $200, I look him in the eye and ask, “It’s real, right? This ticket is legit? Because I’ll just lose it if it’s not.” I already know the answer, but like a drug seller asking someone if they’re a cop, I had to ask. The guy emanated goodness, I knew it was all okay. He nods and says yes. I didn’t even open up the folded-up piece of paper to see. I get into line, my ticket gets scanned and makes that positive “brrrrreeeeeeepp!” sound, I dump my puffy coat, get a double Jack and Coke, find some really nice people to dance next to, shockingly just 15 feet from the stage, if even.
“And so it starts. You switch the engine on. We set controls for the heart of the sun. One of the ways we show our age.”
Thank you, Nathaniel, for the golden ticket. May only good things come your way. Thank you, universe, for desire answered in such magnificent grace. That was a big one.