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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Reliving the Final Moments of LCD Soundsystem Last Night With Shut Up and Play the Hits

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 1:34 PM

  • Brian Heffernan

The man in the chicken hat is hoping things get weird inside. He smokes a cigarette, flicks it to the ground, then changes his mind and smokes the rest of it while standing in front of the Tivoli Theatre in Delmar. He's already holding a ticket, but at the advertised 7 p.m. show time, nearly 100 hopeful viewers are still queuing to his right for entrance to see LCD Soundsystem in its final act, Shut Up And Play The Hits, a documentary showcasing footage of the band's sold-out farewell concert at New York's Madison Square Garden in April 2011.

See also: People Started Giving a Shit -- review and interview with James Murphy

The chicken-hat guy, Bryce Barnes, was at that final show. He says it was the fourth or fifth time he'd seen the group and describes it as "crazy-awesome-weird but kind of bittersweet." Tonight, he's hoping a dance party will break out in the theatre so he can relive the moment ⎯ at least for the sake of his "party hat," which he always wears to concerts, but couldn't be with him in New York.

For many, the movie theatre will be the only venue they will have gotten to see James Murphy's post-punk dance band, which called it quits a decade after its first single, "Losing My Edge." Most who said they'd seen LCD perform live recalled the band headlining sets at festivals, such as Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago or Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee.

The first viewers began lining up nearly an hour before the film started (about 7:20 p.m.). Many had purchased tickets days, weeks and even months in advance, correctly anticipating the one-night, single screening of the film (in select cities) reaching the 429-seat capacity of Theatre 1 of the Tivoli. (Note: The Tivoli Theatre has just announced two re-screenings of the film this Friday and Saturday night at 11:30 p.m.)

At show time, there were no glow sticks, no dance outfits, no Home-inspired party-robots or other costumes that are often seen at event-type film screenings with cult followings. Also, during the documentary, which included 11 songs selected from the 29-song, four-hour concert featuring members of Arcade Fire and comedian-musician Reggie Watts, frenzied dance parties did not erupt in the theatre aisles, much to "party hat's" dismay.

However, the audience did applaud the songs with increasing (though still modest) intensity, perform theatre-seat dance moves (read: head bobbing), and shed a few tears during the scenes of Murphy wandering through the recovery, routine (making coffee, walking his dog) and realization that the party was over the following day.

Fans exiting the theatre lacked the typical post-concert, ears-blasted-out ecstasy of a show they'll never forget. But, of course, this wasn't the finale concert of a lifetime. LCD died more than a year ago. This was the wake. But at least it was the fun kind ⎯ the kind where beer is served, where memories are recalled and savored and where, appropriate or not, you feel like dancing ⎯ at least the man in the chicken hat did.

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