On April 2nd 2011, LCD Soundsystem played its final show at Madison Square Garden. Documenting this once in a life time performance and an intimate portrait of James Murphy as he navigates the lead-up to the show, the day after, and the personal and professional ramifications of his decision.
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Jon Thor Birgisson,
Orri P. Dyrason,
On April 2nd 2011, LCD Soundsystem played its final show at Madison Square Garden. LCD frontman James Murphy had made the conscious decision to disband one of the most celebrated and influential bands of its generation at the peak of its popularity, ensuring that the band would go out on top with the biggest and most ambitious concert of its career. The instantly sold out, near four-hour extravaganza did just that, moving the thousands in attendance to tears of joy and grief, with New York magazine calling the event "a marvel of pure craft" and TIME magazine lamenting "we may never dance again." Documenting this once in a life time performance and an intimate portrait of James Murphy as he navigates the lead-up to the show, the day after, and the personal and professional ramifications of his decision. Written by
I really had looked forward to this movie, being a big LCD Soundystem fan for years, but it really opened my eyes to the ego of James Murphy, who I had once thought to be one of the coolest guys making music today. Everything felt staged or scripted. The movie opens with Murphy "waking" to his phone ringing, but was there a camera man filming him all night waiting for him to wake? I don't think so. There are several other moments like this peppered throughout the film.
The interview that forms the backbone to the documentary is more cringey than anything else. Murphy's ego can't be kept in check and some of his answers make you wish he would stop talking and cut back to the farewell concert in Madison Square Garden, which is really the only thing that feels natural here. It's a fantastic, huge performance and is captured brilliantly.
Towards the end, where we see Murphy going to the store where all the band's gear is kept and breaking down and crying in an Oscar-worthy performance. Again, it all feels staged: "now for the emotional bit". I actually ended up feeling slightly sorry for the guy, crying over a few synthesizers.
They were a great band but they were only around for 9-10 years. I think the guy needs some perspective. "Shut Up and Play the Hits" is a more apt title than they probably realized.
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