LCD Soundsystem – The Long Goodbye Live at MSG [Review]

first_imgThe Long Goodbye is a seemingly fitting title for the new release, coming three years after LCD Soundsystem’s final show at Madison Square Garden back in April of 2011. The record shadows Shut Up and Play the Hits, the 2012 documentary which chronicled the last two days surrounding their farewell gig. Front man James Murphy had not expected such a delay in release. As he explained in an interview, Murphy, “thought [they’d] play the last show, a month of editing [the documentary], cleaning up the audio and then I’m off!” Murphy notes, “It turned out to be a year of editing, then doing the concert and mixing that, and then having to do a different vinyl mix because I didn’t think it worked for a record.” Well, Mr. Murphy, this worked!Music fanatics alike can agree, live albums can be testy. They can be a desperate attempt to hold fans over until the next release of new material, or, they can be a genuine attempt that actually captures the essence of a band as they are in concert. Some live albums are not filler. LCD Soundsystem’s The Long Goodbye, thankfully, is not filler. The only “filling” this album will do , is fill your living room, car, or headphones with the natural ebb and flow of a real concert. Twenty-eight songs over two hours plus of material will instantly transport you to the big party. Through the sound waves, The Long Goodbye exudes feelings of MSG’s infectious atmosphere. One can’t help but get lost in the groove.  Catchy numbers such as “Us Vs. Them” and “Drunk Girls” excite the set with staccato rhythm patterns. Plunging bass playing and uppercuts from the lead guitar force limbs to flail.  Murphy is not only a witty lyricist. He is a showman.  Frontman Murphy engages the crowd in “Drunk Girls”.  The band and audience both appear equally enthused in barking their favorite lyrics. It’s a mind-blowing dynamic between Murphy and his crowd; a symbiotic relationship in which their energies feed off each other.  Note the strong bass and treble in “Someone Great”.  Because it has been sped up slightly, it sounds even sharper. The crowd of 1500+ definitely picked up on this alteration. Just listen to them roar the refrain back at Murphy.  If you find yourself itchin’ for a breath, or a short break, the more reflective pieces such as  “All My Friends” provide breathing space. This gives listeners a reminder of LCD Soundsystem’s true breadth and the range of the band’s talent, and by the time Murphy screams, “If I could see all my friends tonight!” at the song’s climax, it’s hard not to be transported to that final show.LCD brings the funk on this album, but that’s no surprise.  You want an obscure cover from an artist, Suicide? “Bye Bye Bayou”.  The bass-line on this track is impossible to disregard; a true headbanger. Your limbs will tire from constant foot-tapping and shoulder shrugs brought on by this track. And your neck, oh heaven, your neck will hurt so good! Ever wonder what a nervous breakdown sounds like? Check the synths on “Yeah.” You can feel an energy emanating from said synths, and you just can’t ignore it. Not even the rage of the drummer can distract you from those synths. On a lighter note, the vocals of Reggie Watts on “You Can’t Hide (Shame on You)” will soothe you. Talk about “disco” ! This was no Greatest Hits gig; this was a damn good goodbye, of seamlessly blended genres. The gig ends with the breathtaking piano chords of “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down.”  It was “very dramatic”. In short, The Long Goodbye manages to replicate the exhilaration of that show for fans who weren’t there.last_img

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