Arcade Fire: From indie darlings to arena rock gods

Post by Kerri Brkich in

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arcade fire
Montreal's Arcade Fire brought their A Game to Vancouver last week

How would I describe Arcade Fire’s performance at the Pacific Coliseum last Tuesday? It was an intense, exciting, bombastic wall of sound. It was fu*king unbelievable. (Sorry Mike and Daniel, I know you run a respectable blog, but really, it’s the only word that sums it up.) They opened with “Ready to Start” and it was clear from the moment they took the stage that they were, indeed, ready. The seven band members ripped into the song like they were already playing their encore, and without pausing went directly into one of my favourites, “Neighbourhood #2 (Laika)”.

By the time they launched into “No Cars Go” the Coliseum was already in a state of pandemonium, and it never let up. The atmosphere they created was electric and mesmerizing and when front man Win Butler finally addressed the crowd four songs in it was almost a jolt back to reality I was so immersed in what they were doing on stage.

“Modern Man” and “Rococo” soared and reverberated through the entire building and when the last half of the show began with Funeral favourites “Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)” and “Rebellion (Lies)” all hell broke loose.

Every member of Arcade Fire is an accomplished musician, but even better, they’re artists in the truest sense of the word. Other than the occasional shout out to the crowd, this was all about the music. And they burst forth from one song to next, intent on bringing their artistic vision to life for the enjoyment of their fans. It was one of those concert experiences that stays with you, that all future concert experiences can be compared against.

Am I a fan? Obviously—Funeral, Neon Bible, and The Suburbs have been my iPod staples since their release dates, so I can honestly say that none of them do justice to what Arcade Fire did live. I left Tuesday’s show feeling exhilarated and exhausted, and the one word that kept being repeated by concert goers was...intense. The intensity they projected, the energy they infused into everything they did left an indelible mark on everyone who saw it.

And for every ticket sold to Tuesday’s concert, $1 went to KANPE, a non-profit organization that is raising funds to aid rural Haitians and help them recover from the January earthquake. Régine Chassagne, the band’s co-founder and other lead singer, has Haitian roots, so the cause is near and dear to her heart and the band has pledged to donate $1 million to the cause (go to www.kanpe.org for more information).

Arcade Fire was one of the best shows I’ve seen in the last decade, and I’ve gone to a lot of concerts—everyone from Tina Turner to the Beastie Boys—so that’s saying something. Next week it’s Alice in Chains. They better bring it.

- post by Kerri

2 Comments

They did an incredible interactive video with some Google engineers a while ago. Pity you can only use Google Chrome to view it. http://goo.gl/QhNp

This concert actually made me love stadium concerts again. Something about the energy from an amazing band, awesome graphics and the sound of that many fans cheering.

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