Last night I bussed it up to New York to see the second of four pre-farewell LCD Soundsystem shows at Terminal 5. (The band led by James Murphy plays its final gig at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.) It was a pleasure trip, not a business one — a last night with my favorite band. But in tribute to another recent semi-retiree, here are some quick-hit observations, Larry King-style:
1. It sure is tough to eclipse the euphoria of "All My Friends." When that song ended the first of three "sets" it felt like the cavernous club might collapse on itself.
2. Three hours of music is a lot of music! These old legs were about to give out by the end.
3. How long will it be until there's an album with a better back-to-back than "Someone Great" and "All My Friends?" 10 years? 15 years?
4. There were so many bros at this show I thought there might be a great icing disaster.
5. Make no mistake - when playing live, LCD Soundsystem is a band. Guitarist Al Doyle shreds and seemed to know many of the songs better than James Murphy himself. Nancy Whang's voice offers a perfect contrast to Murphy's speak-sing. And drummer Pat Mahoney was a human metronome for three hours.
(Fifteen more, after the jump.)
6. There actually were a couple hiccups. But that's OK. It reminded us they were actually human. Sometimes the notes you miss are as important as the ones you hit.
7. There was really no need to play "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House," "North American Scum" and "Drunk Girls" - it's all the same song. Pick one — the first one.
8. Much of the crowd seemed almost unfamiliar with songs from the first album.
9. The pacing almost felt like a Grateful Dead show - hot first set, spacey/hammy middle set and gradually building final set.
10. It will surely get a little misty in Madison Square Garden on Saturday when the band closes with "New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down."
11. An all-male vocal choir was positioned on the stage right balcony to offer backing vocals on about a third of the songs.
12. Has anyone ever said, "Boy that vocal choir really doesn't work?"
13. Now that James Murphy is retiring, maybe he wants to take on baseball. The Dodgers could sure use some warm bodies in the infield.
14. The five best songs of the night: "All My Friends," "Dance Yrself Clean," "New York I Love You," "Get Innocuous," "Daft Punk"
15. Liquid Liquid played a nice and funky 30-minute opening set.
16. Do you think any Liquid Liquid band members said to Murphy, "If you love us so much why weren't we namechecked on 'Losing My Edge'?"
17. Terminal 5 is not a very welcoming venue, but this was the sort of show where you kind of wanted to be pressed body to body against other sweaty people.
18. The guy wearing the flashing robot helmet for most of the show must have been very hot, dumb or both.
19. Remember Stereo MCs? I heard a little Stereo MCs in some of the songs last night - that was weird.
20. The band really is going out at the top of its game. But it does seem like a good time to go out.