LCD Soundsystem bow out in Madison Square Garden

Requiem for the hipster as James Murphy and his band play last ever gig

When LCD Soundsystem announced their final gig at New York's Madison Square Garden, tickets sold out in just 15 seconds.

Would-be concert-goers erupted in hysterical rage when touts began selling tickets priced as high as $1,500 (£930). The band's front man James Murphy tweeted: "NO MATTER WHAT WE DO, IT IS NOT WORTH THAT KIND OF MONEY TO SEE US!"

Evidently some 14,000 people thought it was. The atmosphere in the stadium on Saturday night was somewhere between joyous wake and dance party funeral – as the band announced on their website: "If it's a funeral, let's have the best funeral ever!!!" The stands were filled with people known as the hipsters, many were dressed in Murphy's trademark look (black suit, white shirt, skinny black tie), and all had come to pay their respects to the band that Esquire magazine described as "arguably the most influential indie band of the past five years."

From their breakout 2002 single, Losing My Edge, LCD Soundsystem have offered a unique combination of geek knowledge, passion and intelligent, ironic distance. The ultimate hipster band, they are calling it quits just as the decade of the hipster seems to be coming to an end. American Apparel is facing bankruptcy and the market is awash with Tumblr-to-book titles like Stuff Hipsters Hate and Look At This Fucking Hipster. Brooklyn literary magazine n+1 recently proclaimed: "Hipsters are not dead, they still breathe, they live on my block. Yet it is evident that we have reached the end of an epoch of the type."

Murphy himself was never really a hipster. For nearly a decade, Murphy – at 41, at least a good decade older than the crowd on Saturday night – stood as a self-mocking totem to a certain kind of experience. Losing My Edge was an anthem for the aging music nerd, with lyrics detailing a comically epic list of historical dates, bands and attended gigs: the anti-hipster's defence against "the art-school Brooklynites in little jackets and borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties". Unlike some of the output of those art-school Brooklynites, which has tended to espouse a tone of context free apathy, Murphy has always been interested in creating a record of the times.

And as if to prove he's still one step ahead, Murphy is now bowing out. The three-and-a-half-hour concert included a guest appearance by Arcade Fire, who sang back-up on North American Scum, prompting chants of 'North American! North American!' – as close as a hipster can get to shouting "USA! USA!". And Murphy closed with the unabashedly elegiac New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down, a mournful chronicle of New York's post-Giuliani transformation.

On Twitter, The Believer contributing editor Brandon Stosuy asked: "How many upcoming 30-something novels can we expect to use LCD Soundsystem's final shows as a metaphor for something?" The question now is what.

Katie Kitamura

The GuardianTramp

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