Arcade Fire Tears Down Earl’s Court With Style

first_imgFew bands have garnered as much acclaim from both critics and fans as Arcade Fire over the course of their decade plus-long career.  Touring behind their fourth studio album, Reflektor, Arcade Fire brought their mammoth production to Earl’s Court in London.  Earl’s Court has a long and fascinating history, hosting Olympic events in 1948 and 2012 while also being the site for numerous concerts including Pink Floyd‘s Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall tours and many more.  But a controversial redevelopment plan for the site to turn it into 8,000 condos has led to the eventual demolition of the 76-year-old exhibition hall in the near future.After the curtain dropped and the first notes of “Reflektor” rang out, the crowd burst in a flying ball of energy and adultation nary seen by fans as a man in a mirrored suit danced on a stage in the middle of the floor, created a secondary disco ball effect—there already was a disco ball set up above the floor—which added to the excitement of the crowd.The band’s set progressed through much of their latest release throughout the course of the show, playing more than half of the disc scattered around the show.  Front man Win Butler has a stage presence reminiscent of those who had played Earl’s Court so many years ago in the likes of a Robert Plant or a Freddie Mercury, using his prowess across multiple instruments to accentuate his movements.  His captivating persona occassionally made it hard to realize the full production the band brought.  At one point, a full troupe of dancers came into the middle of the floor and performed a synchronized routine, all while the lights, which were strung up and down the cavernous arena, blared away.One high point of the show was when Ian McCulloch of Echo and the Bunnyman came out to sing the band’s “The Cutter,” off their 1983 classic, Porcupine.  You can check out a fan shot video of the song below.After a particularly spirited take on “No Cars Go” and a brief speech before the band played “Haiti,” the band played a trio of songs off Reflektor before a set closing “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains.”It was the encore where things really got interesting as a mariachi band masquerading as Arcade Fire played a unique rendition of The Verve‘s “Bittersweet Symphony” before the actual band came out for “Normal Person.”  In my opinion, the musical highlight of the night came with the one-two punch of “Here Comes the Night Time” and a raucous “Wake Up” to end the show.When I saw LCD Soundsystem‘s final show at Madison Square Garden, I thought I had seen the second coming of the Talking Heads.  After seeing Arcade Fire, who sat in during LCD Soundsystem’s final show for “North American Scum,” I can safely say the Talking Heads’ tradition is being kept aflame.  With 10 people on stage, a willingness to let songs breathe and a strong attention to rhythm that David Byrne was so acutely aware of, I can safely say that Arcade Fire is a must see for fans of live music, whether or not you are a fan beforehand, you will be after.last_img

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