The Last Concert: Indie Icon LCD Soundsystem Bids a Brilliant, Bizarre Adieu

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John Parra / WireImage / Getty Images

LCD Soundsystem performs at the MOCA Beach Party Presented by Maybach at the Raleigh on December 1, 2010, in Miami

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10:35 p.m. Trombone solo! There aren't very many trombone solos in dance songs these days.

10:41 p.m. A diamond-shaped spacecraft appears behind the stage. In it sits a bearded man, his face painted white, who is wearing what appears to be a white shower cap. He reads something to us, but his voice is distorted by synthesizers and I can't understand him. I think he's supposed to be an astronaut. This must be what Murphy meant when he said things were going to get weird.

11:02 p.m. A giant disco ball rotates above the stage. It's easily 6 ft. in diameter. What will happen to it now that there will be no more LCD Soundsystem concerts? I think TIME should buy it and hang it in the office. My editor will never go for this.

11:11 p.m. Oh, look, Arcade Fire is here.

11:14 p.m. The Grammy-award-winning band is singing backup on the song "North American Scum."

11:23 p.m. The pandas are dancing again.

11:35 p.m. A man runs across a security barrier and dives into the front VIP section. He is promptly apprehended.

11:42 p.m. This show has suddenly become dominated by distorted sounds from electric guitars. Murphy is screaming into the microphone with an energy I've never seen. What happened? I feel like I'm at an AC/DC concert.

11:49 p.m. That drummer has been keeping the beat for almost three hours. He has to be exhausted.

11:58 p.m. First bodysurfing of the night.

Midnight After the obligatory encore fake-out, the band is back for the final few songs. The drummer is not wearing any pants.

12:09 a.m. I hear the opening cymbal clashes for "Losing My Edge," LCD Soundsystem's first single, from 2002. The song is a lengthy rant about how everyone eventually becomes uncool. Of course, claiming to be uncool was actually what made LCD Soundsystem so popular.

12:40 a.m. We are rapidly approaching the four-hour mark. LCD Soundsystem has given us a nearly nonstop barrage of music and lights and sound, stirring the audience into a chaotic collection of fist-pumping, dancing bodies. We are sweaty and tired, but we don't want to stop. But we have to. We have reached the final song.

12:47 a.m. Murphy closes with "New York, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down," a bittersweet ode to the city he calls home. We have stopped dancing now, and we listen as he tells us that our safer city streets are boring and that we're wasting his time.

12:51 a.m. "New York" sounds like a breakup song, but it isn't. It's about change, about quitting something before it turns bad. To a man like Murphy, who has lived his life in dirty clubs with graffiti-scrawled bathrooms, the increasingly clean streets of New York — with its luxury apartment buildings, organic-grocery stores and the impending arrival of a Walmart — must be a disappointment. And while it's thrilling to play to a sold-out crowd at one of the largest and most famous venues in the U.S., there isn't much else the band can accomplish after this. Murphy still loves us, but he wants to leave before this musical relationship turns sour. He loves the songs, the parties and the oversize disco ball that sends dots of light racing around the stadium. But it's time for him to move on to other projects.

It's too bad we're bringing Murphy down, because LCD Soundsystem is still able to lift us up.

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