Legendary New York band LCD Soundsystem played their last show in 2011 in Madison Square Garden. Three years later, that show is finally available in album format titled The Long Goodbye. You can stream the album above.
The album opens with "Dance Yrself Clean," which was also the first track of their final studio album, This Is Happening. It's a killer opener that starts off quiet with a simple synthetic beat. It builds up for four minutes before exploding into a new-wave, disco celebration. In the tradition of Krautrock, simplicity is key. The band repeats the same two notes again and again for almost ten minutes as drummer Pat Mahoney plays in a 16th-note motorik trance. It's amazing that his arms didn't fall off of his body by the end of the three-hour show. The song evolves, not in structure, but in tone, volume, and raw emotion.
That's how most of their songs are. Many tracks include only two notes, such as "All My Friends," "I Can Change" and "Home." Some songs have the band only jamming on one chord, such as "Yeah" and "Us V Them." The band was always about James Murphy's song writing ability. He wore his heart on his sleeve, and that is the most evident on this album than on any studio album the band has released. Given that this was the band's final performance -- at least for now -- it's hard not to tear up by the time James Murphy sings, "And to tell the truth / Oh, this could be the last time / So here we go / Like a sales force into the night," on their nostalgic "All My Friends."
The set featured all their best material, including pre-album singles "Yeah" and "Loosing My Edge," covers of Alen Vega's "Bye Bye Bayou" and Harry Nilsson's "Jump into the Fire" and an Arcade Fire-backed rendition of "North American Scum." They ended their set with frequent closer "New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down." Murphy gets overwhelmed after singing the first line, saying, "This is my last song." He continues, "New York, you're perfect, don't please don't change a thing / Your mild billionaire mayor's now convinced he's a king." Although only three years have passed since, it feels like a much longer period of time. Now that New York has a new mayor, it may be a wonder how Murphy would sing that song now. Maybe we'll get to find out if he ever decides to reunite the band.
You can buy the album on Amazon.
For more music and news, head over to LCD Soundsystem's Zumic artist page.