Yeah - i've been patiently waiting to see them since i missed them in Atlanta in '07. But I have tix for the upcoming August show here and I couldnt be happier. I honestly was in tears when i got the tickets. they would be a stellar addition to the line up for 2011- esp as it's Bonnaroo's 10th Anniv next year.
SHERBROOKE - It wasn't exactly The Suburbs, as per the title of its new album, out Aug. 3, but Arcade Fire did one better - drawing 1,200 fans (including many Montrealers who made the two-hour drive) to the Granada Theatre, in the strip-mall-surrounded city of Sherbrooke Monday night, for the first of two shows.
Not counting a secret, invite-only performance before 75 people on Friday, it was the group's first hometown (-ish) gig in three years, and the highly anticipated international premiere of the material from the new disc.
This was a test run, just far enough from Montreal and the global spotlight to get everything right before jumping into a busy summer touring schedule that includes an outdoor, headlining performance at the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival on July 31. If Monday night was any indication, that could be the show of the year.
Mixing songs new and old (seven tracks from its upcoming third disc, versus eight from the first two), the band displayed a refreshing sense of musical freedom - as if the bright-eyed anthemics of its breakthrough 2004 debut Funeral and the bleak tension of the Springsteen-informed followup Neon Bible had given way to a less heavy, almost fun (!) sense of worldly wisdom.
They opened with The Suburbs' title track, released as a single a couple of weeks back (along with Month of May, which came later in the show).
Over an almost country-styled groove, Win Butler sat at the piano and sang of differences between places to live (city vs. outskirts), and states of mind. It evoked breezy nostalgia, before building into a rocker, violins soaring softly over the bouncy rhythm.
Ready To Start, another new one, was a new-wavey dance ditty, seemingly about shedding the past and jumping into the now.
Old favourite Keep the Car Running brought a surge of energy and a joyous singalong, following which Butler addressed the crowd.
"Merci. We're going to play some new songs tonight. I hope that's alright."
We Used to Wait was a charged rocker about "how our lives are changing fast."
It was followed by three from the back catalogue: No Cars Go, a classic Arcade Fire anthem; the playful Haiti, sung with charged emotion by Butler's wife Régine Chassagne; and Intervention, with its churchly organ and apocalyptic imagery.
Then three more new ones, of which Rococo was a spooky standout, the spiteful lyrics "Let's go downtown and watch the modern kids," offset by the almost yodelling chorus.
Modern Man, shortly after, picked up the thread, questioning just what the term means before assuming it by song's end.
As always, Arcade Fire thrives on dualities - between youth and adulthood, dark and light, celebration and sorrow. With the new material, the band seems more able than ever to blur the lines.
It's a theme that carried over to the music, as once-easy-to-pinpoint influences became a library of sounds that the group referenced at will, and with a spirited sense of mischief.
They were enjoying themselves on stage Monday night - and well they should have been.
After exploding onto the world stage, then fighting to keep identity and dignity intact, they have attained an exciting maturity, and unpretentious mastery of their craft.
Arcade Fire performs again Tuesday night at the Granada Theatre in Sherbrooke. The show is sold out.
Post by nodepression on Jul 13, 2010 17:20:41 GMT -5
Last night, Arcade Fire played a show in Quebec City as part of the Quebec Summer Festival. As The New York Times reports, the band used their set to talk about an issue dear to them: the rebuilding of Haiti following the devastating earthquake that hit Port-au-Prince.
According to the Times, at the show, Arcade Fire co-leader Régine Chassagne revealed the creation of a nonprofit organization called Kanpe, which funnels aid from Canada to Haiti to help the poor. (Chassagne's parents emigrated from Haiti to Canada.) According to the Kanpe website, Chassagne sits on the nonprofit's board. At the Quebec show, Win Butler, Chassagne's husband and Arcade Fire co-leader announced that audience members could donate $5 to the effort by texting 30333. UPDATE: You have to text the word "STAND". The band promised to match every donation from the public up to a million (Canadian) dollars. Butler said, "Please, take our money," the Times reports.
So: If we send a million dollars to Haiti, Arcade Fire will also send a million dollars. Amazing. Let's do it, people!
This is just the latest of the band's many efforts to help Haiti after the earthquake. Soon after the quake hit, Chassagne wrote an editorial for the British newspaper The Observer, asking people around the world to help with the relief effort. And when the band licensed their song "Wake Up" to the NFL for a Super Bowl commercial, they donated all the proceeds to the relief efforts.