That Final LCD Soundsystem Show

The life of a scrambling, scrapping freelance writer did not afford me the opportunity to attend LCD Soundsystem's final show at MSG, but through the growing, infinite and singularity-grasping power of the internet I've been able to watch the entire show, as broadcast by Pitchfork.tv, over YouTube (though after watching the whole show I discovered that the video has now been removed). Since I wasn't there I can't offer a specific critique of the audience, the environment or the sound, but what I can say is that this is one of the most enjoyable 3+ hours of my life spent viewing live music. The concert in this form is more a film than a live show with James Murphy in near constant view on a packed super-ensemble stage. The production, with all these great musicians and artists and the State Street Singers, feels album perfect. And there's just enough variation in Murphy's voice to make it a valid, demanding and lovable live show.

They open with "Dance Yrself Clean" following a long lead-in of 10cc's classic "I'm Not In Love" twinkling through the speakers. And the show builds carefully, hitting energetic, vivid and boisterous points before tapering back down. Of course, "All My Friends" comes across perfectly with all the sadness it carries in its lyrics built upon wonderful live instrument energy. It's truly incredible just to see so many players coexisting with electronic and synthesized elements to create something so beautiful. From live steel drums to guitars to horns. And at about the 2 hour mark, the band takes recess, coming back out for a phase 2 encore level, super-power set. After one song, Arcade Fire shows up to sing on "North American Scum." The live version of my favorite, and I'm sure many others' favorite LCD song obliterates the crowd and stops the show in that traditional showstopping way. Arcade Fire spiritedly sings "North America" in call and response and the whole thing just fucking rocks.

The beauty of the internet is that this can happen. Imagine how many more girls would've screamed, swooned and fainted given the opportunity to see the Beatles live at Shea through the internet. It's not a perfect experience. Live music is meant to be felt and unless you have insanely powerful speakers this video will not give you the proper vibe, the rib-rattling madness that comes from heavy bass and the ear-piercing screech of horns and guitar strings will be tempered. Still, the option to see it, for all those people who could not get there, myself included, is exactly what the egalitarian, free-info internet is predicated upon. A new golden age of communication. Without it I'd never have been able to experience and discuss this show. And when the show closes with balloons dropping and the powerful guitar/drum combo through the end of "New York, I Love You But Your Bringing Me Down" after the song plays so solemnly, a true perfect close to the LCD Soundsystem's career, if it is truly ending, I teared up a little.

Here's are some tidbits, since the whole video is no longer available. Enjoy. And let's all pray that James Murphy hasn't quit the biz, just chosen to find a new moniker. Great music is a legacy, but to halt its production is a tragedy.

"North American Scum"

"All My Friends"

"New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down"

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