• James Rutherford

'Shut Up and Play the Hits': A Remarkable Documentation of LCD Soundsystem's Final Stage Performance


Movie poster for the 2011 documentary-concert film Shut Up and Play the Hits

Shut Up and Play the Hits (2012) is an extraordinary documentary/concert film focused on American musician James Murphy and his acclaimed electro rock band LCD Soundsystem. The film's narrative is balanced between an in-depth interview between journalist Chuck Klosterman and Murphy, and the band's conclusive 2011 performance at Madison Square Garden in New York City.


Having announced their departure from musical enterprises the previous year, Murphy and his bandmates deliver a glorious final performance on New York's grandest stage—while pop culture essayist Klosterman intermittently delves into Murphy's complex relationship with music and stardom. Equal parts exhilarating and introspective, the film captures many moments of elation while showcasing an eclectic ensemble that includes Reggie Watts and Arcade Fire—lead singer Win Butler delivering the titular appeal to Murphy as he pontificates to the crowd.


Directed by American filmmakers Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace, the film benefits enormously from Murphy's sheer exuberance and cinematographer Reed Morano's visual stylings—not to mention the infectious nature of the band's music as a whole. Though LCD Soundsystem would later reunite after several years of individual pursuits, somewhat dampening the historical context of their performance, the film nevertheless triumphs as a delightful escapade and milestone of 21st Century popular culture.

 

Watch the trailer: