LCD Soundsystem will always make me feel too many things
In the summer of 2016, my life changed during a show. It wasn’t so much the show that did it — more the circumstances — but those intangibles are all kind of linked in my head. The human brain is funny like that.
Today is Sunday December 3rd 2017, and the band that I saw that night, LCD Soundsystem, is performing in my hometown of Toronto. A friend posted a status about how excited they are to go, and I made a short comment about why this show means so much to me.
Then I felt compelled to tell LCD Soundsystem themselves, and after hitting send on the message I realized this is something I wanted to commit to memory.
Probably nobody will read this, I understand how page profiles go, but that’s OK. I want to share it anyway.
Pretty much everybody I care about will be going to your show in Toronto tonight. Family, friends, folks I admire, people I’ve met who have forgotten me, assorted characters I hope to meet someday, the like. I can’t make it. I live in Halifax, which is far, and already have booked too many flights home for silly reasons, which is expensive.
But, most importantly, my eldest sister Lauren will be there. She was supposed to join me and my brother at WayHome a few years ago — the only time I’ve seen LCD live — but was 6 months into a very complicated pregnancy and didn’t want to risk anything.
Lauren has told me stories about the good old days of her music-chasing youth, travelling god-knows-how-many miles and missing god-knows-how-much sleep to grab whatever piece of sonic euphoria she could. She rarely balks at sacrificing whatever it needs to be to see her favourite bands, and LCD is VERY high up that list. Yet, she had to say no to WayHome. I know how much that pained her.
My niece ended up being born that night. During your set, actually. I had been volunteering all day in order to get free passes in exchange because I couldn’t afford them, so I was the sober sibling. My brother was in a field somewhere losing his mind because a) LCD and b) our niece, the first member of my family’s next generation, was coming. Lauren had me send her clips of the show — specifically Get Innocuous — to help ease her mind.
I mentioned Lauren’s pregnancy was complicated. That’s putting it lightly. The baby was nearly lost several times. She was too tiny, too fragile, too much of a question mark. The doctors wanted to pull her out several weeks before the point of guaranteed viability, but Lauren insisted they let her own health be threatened. Baby was more important. She managed to hang on until the point that the baby was guaranteed to at least be formed enough to stick into an incubator — the night of your WayHome show.
I did my best not to get too attached to the thought of becoming an uncle. I studied biology at university and had developed a very pragmatic, black and white view of the world. Either this child was going to survive or, chances were, it wouldn’t. There was nothing I could do about it. No god to pray to, no cause to donate towards, just some very real emotions to prepare for.
Love is such a strange thing. It can sometimes sleep dormant for so long that you don’t really realize it’s there, and some sort of shakeup knocks the feelings back into place. When I looked down to check my phone (I think it was during NY I ❤ U) and saw that the baby was real and alive and breathing with assistance, all that familial love suddenly flooded into place. There was a new member for me to care about, to stress over, to cherish and adore, a brand new life full of potential to witness and protect — that hit me like a ton of fucking bricks.
Louisa is doing great. She’s a wicked baby that put up with all kinds of shit, and Lauren is a fantastic mother. She will be at your show tonight, losing her mind to a band that she loves almost as much as her daughter, and I wish I could be there to share it with her but at least I know she’ll be in good hands.
That moment, that show, that evening, will always be associated with the crushing wave of raw emotion when Louisa came into the world and I actually let myself feel it. And LCD Soundsystem will always be tied to it all. I can’t wait to tell her about when her uncles were both losing their minds, chemically and biochemically, in a field in Oro Medonte when she entered the world in time with her mother’s favourite music.
I know you’ll put on a great show, you always do. But I hope it’s as great a show for Lauren as it was for me all those months ago.