Concert Review: LCD Soundsystem Kicks Off Final Shows in New York

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Michelle Castillo

Don’t feel bad if you hadn’t heard of LCD Soundsystem before they announced that they were breaking up.

Despite a highly acclaimed third album that made music critics’ top albums of 2010’s lists, the dance punk group only made headlines when they sold out their final show at Madison Square Garden – in 15 seconds. Then, fans grabbed up all the tickets for the additional four final shows at Terminal 5 that were added due to demand in less than 15 minutes.

(More on TIME.com: See the top 10 albums of 2010)

Whether you agree with lead singer James Murphy that LCD Soundsystem’s ticket debacle was a scalper conspiracy or that the final show hype was some backroom deal made between the band and Terminal 5, the fervor to see LCD Soundsystem live one last time showed how ravenous people were for the “underground” group. (Okay, maybe you should feel a little guilty for not discovering them in time.)

You can always count on sold-out shows to be jammed packed with die-hard fans because no one in their right mind would wait for hours or pay exorbitant amounts of money to see just any band live. LCD Soundsystem knew that and catered directly to those needs. On the opening night of their last five final shows, the band played an epic three-hour concert.  From the opening song “Dance Yrself Clean,” it was clear that people came to do one thing: dance the night away.

Even though I had seen the band before, I knew I had to get tickets to one of their final shows. One thing that I enjoyed about LCD Soundsystem is that Murphy’s producer sensibilities shone through their music. Whether you saw them live or listened to their albums, you got high-quality music from a group of rehearsed musicians who clearly loved what they did. At Terminal 5, you could hear every ironically melancholy lyric that emanated from Murphy, and it wasn’t drowned out by the crisp sound of the steady drumbeats or reverberating synthesizer notes.

After the end of show’s first hour, Murphy alerted the crowd that the band would return to the stage for not one, not two, but three encores. Each set seemed to represent the different musical styles that the band encapsulated in their brief, yet expansive career from rock to funk to pop to their own brand of dance floor tunes that appealed to this generation’s rhythmless hipsters. By the time they closed the show with “New York I Love You, but You’re Bringing Me Down,” it was obvious that it was LCD Soundsystem that those in attendance were in love with, and they were depressed that the band was calling it quits. The expressions from the constantly swaying and pogoing crowd showed this night had been a religious experience for them.  Or, they experienced the concert on another level, thanks to some substances that weren’t legally sold at the venue.

But, you don’t just have to take my word for it. You’ll have your chance to see the band live when they stream their final concert on April 2nd at Madison Square Garden on Pitchfork.com.

(More on TIME.com: See the top 10 songs of 2010)

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