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LCD Soundsytem frontman James Murphy, the star of the documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits, received a standing ovation from the Egyptian Theatre crowd following the Sunday night premiere of the concert film about the end of his band.
The documentary, which is screening in Sundance’s Midnight section, was a hit with a clearly a partisan crowd, which clapped along to many of the songs played by the influential electronic rock band during the 105-minute film about its last show, held at Madison Square Garden in New York on April 2.
The film is reminscent of Martin Scorsese‘s The Last Waltz (1978), about rock group The Band’s final show, in that it documents an influential group’s guest star-laden final live performance and largely focuses on the frontman (in Waltz‘s case, Robbie Robertson). When asked during a post-screening Q&A about trying to best Waltz, Murphy joked: “I was just like, ‘that chump Robbie Roberston, I’m gonna take him –‘”
Going into the project, Murphy said he was aware of the thematic similarities with Waltz. “We all talked about it. Knowing that it is there, you can’t not deal with it,” he said.
Shut Up includes entire performances of five LCD songs (including “All My Friends” and “North American Scum”) and plenty of footage of other songs the group ran through during its marathon gig at the Garden. The film follows Murphy during the days before and after the show, which featured guest performers such as members of rock band Arcade Fire, and includes several tender moments Murphy shared with his bandmates.
Murphy, a producer on the film, appeared somewhat caught off guard by the attention he received during the Q&A. When one attendee asked if he had exciting plans following the screening — hoping for word of a performance — Murphy quipped: “I’m going to bed.”
Shut Up, which was directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace, next screens on Wednesday night at Prospector Square Theatre. WME Global is representing the filmmakers in the sale of the film.
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