James Murphy, the frontman of LCD Soundsystem, never thought he'd find himself on a red carpet, promoting a documentary about the last days of his band. "I didn't imagine anything," Murphy told us last night. "I wasn't fully prepared for this. I just got off a plane, so. It's kind of exciting! We made a premiere!"
And what a premiere it was: presented by the Peggy Siegal Company and held at the Village East (an appropriate venue, we couldn't help but think), Shut Up and Play the Hits is a heartfelt, surprising, poignant look at the last concert LCD ever played together, at Madison Square Garden, after making the decision to end the band last spring.
Partway through talking to us, Murphy stepped away for a moment, to receive a kiss on the cheek from Arden Wohl, who told him he looked great. (And he did, in a white suit, a white Lanvin tie, and a lightning-bolt DFA pin.) "Thank you, sorry, I'm interviewing," he said, in a way that was apologetic both to Wohl and to us.
Wohl was in good company: among the many other supporters who came to wish him well were Anne Hathaway, Aziz Ansari, Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach, David Chang, Olivier Theyskens, and Aleksa Palladino, plus Matt Cash and Tim Sweeney, the DJ's Murphy hand-picked to play the afterparty at Lilium at the W Union Square.
One advantage to making a documentary about the end of something is that it makes it all feel less sudden. There's still something to look forward to, in this case for over a year after the last show, which the band played on April 2 of last year. This, Murphy explained, was not by his design. "I didn't mean that; I thought it was going to be an abrupt end," he said. "I thought we were going to be done with the movie in about a month and a half. Literally, I thought it would be like, boom, this would be out by like, July or August, or June, maybe, and done."
He paused. "No, not so much." But judging from the smile he wore deep into the night, it was worth the wait.