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Review: Ibiza Rocks 11th birthday ft LCD Soundsystem

Birthday celebrations with the biggest band in the world

Even writing this review, I've got an aching smile plastered across my face. Since the release of ‘Christmas Will Break Your Heart' in 2015 after being split for four years, it's been on my hitlist to catch dance-punk gods LCD Soundsystem live. And to be able to do that at Ibiza Rocks, on Ibiza Rocks' birthday, after they've wowed at Glastonbury... was bound to be a night that went down in history.

It was an important and highly-anticipated day for music and the island. Rocks, a venue that's hosted some of the best live acts in the business over the years, wasn't about to have just anyone headline its 11th birthday. And who better to celebrate 11 years of rock'n'roll tomfoolery than a group that's been nominated for multiple Grammy awards and is widely considered to be one of the best bands in the world? If you haven't guessed yet, this gig was kind of a big deal.

A giant disco ball took centre stage - vital when at the mercy of such soaring electronic music - spilling dancing glitter on the faces of the slowly swaying crowd. Doorly, an Ibiza Rocks regular, set the tone for the night, making light work of catering for the flock of people of all ages. Slow grooves were played before he adapted to the quickly-filling venue and stepped things up a notch in preparation for LCD coming on stage.

I'd never seen a troop of seven work so well - the stage was like a home to one big family of electronic connoisseurs who shared instruments with not a speckle of performance hoarding in sight. The band surprisingly played one of their most famed tunes early on - a choppier, quirkier version of ‘Daft Punk is Playing in My House' echoed around the pool, before frontman James Murphy questioned the crowd on whether their high was natural or not, he'd obviously caught sight of the contagious glee on everyone's faces.

You Wanted a Hit' spurred microphone twirling that was punctuated by a kaleidoscope of mesmerising strobes filling the air - the band brought the exuberance straight from Glastonbury. At that moment, there was no difference between being stood in a field at the worldwide known festival, or in the humidity of Ibiza's hot night air, except Seth Troxler was in the crowd revelling in every moment instead of playing one of the tents at Worthy Farm.

Murphy's rhapsodic vocals soared as he sang ‘Tribulations' and ‘Yeah' and a feeling of love and unity swept the dance floor. So the crowd were as stubborn as anyone would be when faced with a band such as LCD Soundsystem waving goodbye, refusing to let the night come to an end. Then the words “I woke up naked on a beach in Ibiza in 1988” sent everyone into a frenzy as Murphy referenced our darling island in ‘Losing My Edge', and a burst of lights and arms thrust into the sky to finish the night off. New friends hugged and Murphy humbly thanked the crowd for the hundredth time, “We weren't sure what to expect from you guys but you were great” were his famous last words.

LCD Soundsystem were the epitome of cow bell perfection, with an unmatchable stage presence and the ability to make every member of the crowd simultaneously lose their mind. Guys, Ibiza Rocks, thanks for one of the standout gigs of the 2016 season so far. History has been made.


WORDS | Ruby Munslow PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman

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