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LCD Soundsystem gigs never felt like regular gigs but, then again, they weren't exactly one for the regular. Each show they played became more like one big party; an incredibly infectious atmosphere permeating the room fuelled by the immensely danceable disco-punk tunes of yearning and general melancholy that would make anyone who goes to gigs and ardently refuses to move, preferring instead to stand stock still with arms crossed, get lost in the groove. The first, and, unfortunately, so-far only (let's not rule out a reunion just yet, especially in this topsy-turvy reunion world we're currently living in), time I saw LCD Soundsystem was on their last UK tour after they had announced they were to put things to bed once their tour plans had come to an end. I ended up going alone, as the friend I was meant to be going with dropped out and my want to see LCD Soundsystem before they ended things was far greater than the potential social awkwardness that comes with going to gigs alone. But it was impossible to feel alone. Crammed right against the barrier, I ended up chatting to fellow fans as equally sad this might be the last time they get to see them and, once the show rolled around, our group of complete strangers grew and grew until we were having our own little dance party in amongst the rest of the crowd.

There really must be something in the air that makes people just lose all sense of awkwardness and just completely go for it and having a fucking good time. It makes sense, then, that when tickets went on sale for their last ever gig at Madison Square Garden in New York, they sold out in 15 seconds; thousands of fans clamouring to get that last feel of the LCD magic. Of course, being LCD Soundsystem, they weren't prepared to do "just another show". Their website stated that "If it's a funeral, let's have the best funeral ever!!!" and what followed was a three and a half hour concert spanning pretty much everything they had ever done and with a whole host of guests from labelmates Shit Robot to comedian Reggie Watts in an incredible turn on 45:33's 'You Can't Hide (Shame On You)'. This was no Greatest Hits gig; this was a "let's just play absolutely everything we can think of, from the stuff that dominated the radio to deep cuts people may never have heard". They bowed out at the height of their powers and they did so with such a grand spectacle that it'll no doubt be one of those historic moments in the lives of those lucky enough to get tickets.

Pitchfork streamed the full gig live (I stayed up to watch the entire thing despite having a pretty busy day ahead the next day) which was then turned into Shut Up And Play The Hits, a documentary about that last gig as well as the band themselves. Now, James Murphy has remastered the audio from the gig so you can listen to the full thing from bombastic start to bittersweet end wherever you are. The Long Goodbye is an unabridged document of everything LCD Soundsystem were about, leaving no stone unturned. They were perfectionists at heart and it's clear just listening to each track. From one of my favourite songs of all time, 'All My Friends', which charges ahead with that "dance while you cry" feeling, to the complete performance of the Nike commissioned 45:33, to the ode to the ageing music lover feeling at odds with the ever changing musical world, 'Losing My Edge', each track is performed with laser precision and feel as though they might explode with intensity. Limbs start to move uncontrollably, and you can almost sense the floor of Madison Square Garden shaking, as 'Yeah' builds and builds to its explosive climax. They even dive into the real depths of the discography to pull out 'All My Friends' b-side, 'Freak Out/Starry Eyes', and perform the live debut of their 2009 cover of Suicide's Alan Vega's 'Bye Bye Bayou'. But the real joy is in being transported to that place and time just by hearing that 15,000+ crowd have the time of their lives. Tingles shoot up your spine as you hear an entire arena shout "Gil Scott-Heron" along to James Murphy's recitation of his extensive record collection. It's moments like that that make you realise that LCD Soundsystem really are a one of a kind band; one that bases an entire song around Murphy's encyclopaedic knowledge of music. But there is still the underlying sadness that it's all over that adds another level to The Long Goodbye. James Murphy chokes up as he says his goodbyes over Angelo Badalementi's Twin Peaks theme and tries to prolong the gaps in the early verses of the final song, 'New York, I Love You But You're Bring Me Down'. It's an album that tries to capture that moment forever to further prolong that end, appealing to those who can't yet accept that it's all over.

There is that underlying thought, however, of "is this album really necessary?" With the full concert already available with the Shut Up And Play The Hits documentary, it feels kind of superfluous. You lose many of delightful visuals such as Aziz Ansari's now infamous crowdsurf, the arena being lit only by a disco ball after the bassline kicks up a notch in 'Us V Them', or the crowd collectively losing their shit to 'Yeah'. Then again, it is still another way to experience a band having the biggest party they will ever throw and, like the band themselves, fans are usually completionists and will want to get their hands on it. It's not to take away from the music itself, though, because it really is incredible to just throw some decent headphones on and lose yourself in some of the best dance-punk the world has ever given us. It's a question that needs to be answered by the individual because for some it most definitely is, but for others they may just be satisfied with the concert DVD. There's no denying, though, that it is yet another beautiful addition to the LCD Soundsystem monument.

It's strange to consider a Sliding Doors situation in which James Murphy chose to take the job on the Seinfeld writing staff rather than starting a band, especially when listen to The Long Goodbye and just hear the crowd go wild and the band having a fantastic time. What would that world be like? LCD Soundsystem were a band that meant a lot to a variety of different people; a sort of safe haven for the outsiders and misfits as well as just a band who made damn good tunes. You need only to listen to 'Losing My Edge' to see why that was the song that made people sit up and take notice. They were here to tell music lovers that it was OK that cooler, younger people are coming in to make you seem old because music was about the love of music, not how cool it made you look. They were there to console those who felt it was weird that they could like both The Ramones and ABBA. They were full of passion for music, with knowledge of it bordering on scholarly. LCD Soundsystem didn't care about what was cool, preferring to make something timeless than something fleeting. The Long Goodbye feels timeless. It feels like a band at the top of their game putting on the biggest party for its fans as a big thank you, as well as putting it on for themselves as a celebration of love for each other and for the music. The Long Goodbye successfully captures the atmosphere, the tears, the laughter, the unbridled joy of that last ever gig, that final blowout, like a time capsule to be preserved forever more and to keep the spirit of LCD Soundsystem alive.

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