LCD Soundsystem’s surprise farewell show: it happened, on Saturday night, at Madison Square Garden. It was epic, it was awesome. It was loooong, it was such fun, and it was a bit exhausting. However, those are three qualities that have always made LCD Soundsystem one of the most interesting acts in the world of indie rock. For a show that was over 3.5 hours in length, it did feel a bit short on eye-popping surprises or events. The final LCD Soundsystem show was pretty much just your typical LCD Soundsystem show, only longer with a few deeper cuts in the set list. Perhaps it was the best LCD Soundsystem concert of all time, in some ways even better than the band’s famous underground gigs in the early days. Yet you couldn’t be blamed for feeling like there should have been something bigger or more spectacular on the stage.
Members of The Arcade Fire did join the band for a rendition of “North American Scum,” but even their presence was drowned out by a few ill-advised horns. Rumors bounced around for weeks that other musicians would join the performance, with whispers of everyone from David Byrne to Daft Punk. Instead, we got comedian Reggie Watts, who added some wild vocals to the band’s lesser-known single “45:33.” In other words, it was a show for the die-hard fans. There are plenty of those, evidenced by a sold-out Madison Square Garden crowd on Saturday which was preceded by four sold-out shows at Terminal 5 during the week beforehand. I was thrilled to be in the room for their final concert, as both a fan of the band as well as someone who can relate to saying goodbye to a pivotal job after 10 years. As far as “farewell shows” go, it was no Last Waltz, but you could argue that’s never what this band was supposed to do. Often brilliant, always bombastic, and sometimes self-indulgent… on second thought, maybe this show wasn’t legendary but it was the epitome of LCD Soundsystem.