Live photos and review: LCD Soundsystem at MSG

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  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

Photograph: Loren Wohl

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I don't really believe that this is the last time I'll see LCD Soundsystem. I mean no disrespect to James Murphy's purest intentions for his late-blooming, irresistable dance-rock outfit, but in the days of these "never in a million years!" reunions (Pavement, Dismemberment Plan, the Pixies, even Pink Floyd) and the complete erosion of selling recordings as a profit center, finality is hard to believe—and closure may be even harder to achieve. But, by any measure—and I'm mostly writing about how good it felt to be at LCD's finale show at MSG Saturday night—the show was a success that surpassed even the grandiose hype and massive expectation level projected upon it.

Check out the slideshow above from TONY photographer Loren Wohl.

Click past the jump for the full review and video of "North American Scum."

To be completely honest, Saturday night's show was one of the best five shows I've ever attended, perhaps the only show in that collection that's earned its status objectively, the others being too crowded with sentimentality and shaded by teenage icon worship. The set was filled with emotional moments and clever shout-outs (Reggie Watts, former tourmates Arcade Fire, etc.) without ever losing its focus. When Arcade Fire came on stage, or at least the Regine Chassagne/Butler brothers component of that group, I prayed that it wouldn't linger to play one of its own songs—and I like the Arcade Fire. It would be a shame to waste any of the precious last seconds of LCD's current incarnation, led by an on-point, pensive Murphy working himself through the band's many greatest hits one last time.

The only kind-of lowlight involved Shit Robot, but other than that, I don't think calling the sequence of songs perfect would be too much of a stretch. "Dance Yrself Clean" gave way to "Drunk Girls," and fading hipster anthem "All My Friends" led into a pitch-perfect Yes cover—"Tired/Heart of the Sunrise"—to close the first set. "45:33" was then played pretty much in its entirety during the second act, splicing in "Sound of Silver," a song that reworked part of the running mix commissioned by Nike (also known as the best running mix ever.) Reggie Watts came on and sang, and he was great. Shit Robot was less than great, set up in strange tents off-stage for the song suite, but at least it was theatrical. The second set concluded just as the realization crept in that this was all going to end soon.

And, while LSD charged to the end, it started to get a little sad. Good-sad, though—a little melancholy to make you appreciate that you're standing there, hopefully among your friends, enjoying yourself. And while I obviously cannot speak for everyone, it just felt awesome to be included. Others, in the media mostly, have alluded to shows where LCD was perhaps more powerful—shows from the 2007--2008 worldwide spree with Arcade Fire seem to be mentioned a lot—or more in control of its pummeling sound, but I would also suggest it is impossible for anyone to be too disappointed, no matter the flavor of their LCD fanhood. The group dug into the crate—"Losing My Edge," "Yeah" (featuring an Aziz Ansari stage-dive in the seated area; I've been trying to find footage of it all morning UPDATED: Found it! 6:00 in. ), "Daft Punk Is Playing in My House"—and also gave more casual fans what they wanted, splicing a Daft Punk synth line into "Losing My Edge."

The breakup was quick; Murphy announced the last song, which obviously was "New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down," and quickly unfolded the ballad, reasserting that this was the last time. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't, but even if I didn't believe it I pretended that this was the end of the band's remarkable run. To step away forever would be honorable, and perhaps a bit insane. Regardless, this was a fitting end to the main text of one of New York City's critical outfits, a band that likely brought people to the city and delivered a memorable show to meet the gravity of the occassion.

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