October 7, 2010
Some concerts can be electrifying, exhilarating, or even spine tingling. Arcade Fire surpassed all those descriptors with a performance that could only be described as Arcade Firesque. The seated Shrine Auditorium didn't seem like an ideal venue for the intensity of an Arcade Fire show. Win Butler quickly warned the crowd they should not be seated for any portion of ooncert before starting “Ready To Start.”
The energy in the room expanded exponentially with the jangle of the guitars and booming of the drums as the song builds from a simmer to boiling hot. Butler wasn't going to let any remain seated as he jumped into the crowd during “Month of May.” Regine Chassagne left her station at the drum kit to switch to an accordion for “Neighborhood #2 (Laika)” while other band members screamed into a megaphone.
Baiting the crowd once more, Butler referred to Los Angeles as the hot girl who is a little cold in the beginning of a date. “No Cars Go” raised the overall temperature in the room by a few degrees with the vocal harmonies of Butler and Chassagne as the crowd started to clap along. With one of their drum kits emblazoned with the Haitian flag, “Haiti” has even more meaning to the band due to the massive rebuilding efforts. Butler mentioned that money from the show was being donated to help Haiti via Partners In Health.
Chassagne took center stage for the electrified synthesizer driven “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” which was propelled by a chugging acoustic guitar riff. Butler had some technical difficulties with his guitar which prompted him to make a change in the setlist by switching to piano for “The Suburbs”. Visuals of snow falling provided the backdrop for “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” with Butler coming to the very front of the stage to engage the crowd.
Dark piano notes and the galloping beat of “Deep Blue” still had everyone on their feet as Butler stood on a stage monitor to make sure everyone was involved. The intensity continued to mount with a stunning double header of “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)” and “Rebellion (Lies)” as the music, visuals and strobe lights overwhelmed all your senses.
Donning a mandolin, Butler strummed the opening notes of “Keep The Car Running” while the nine member band added layers of sound. Butler seemed as humble as ever thanking the crowd for coming out and watching us “amateur hacks” before a knockout version of “Wake Up” which had fans throwing both hands up in the air as if they were at church. If you were at the Shrine Auditorium last night, you would be an Arcade Fire believer too.
Personal Bias: The Suburbs is my album of the year.
Crowd: Hipsters of all ages.
Overheard in the Crowd: “I can't believe it took 45 minutes for me to park.” The parking situation at the Shrine auditorium was nasty to say the least.
Random Notebook Dump: I recommend you get to the show at least an hour before the show for prime parking.
“Ready To Start”
“Month of May”
“Neighborhood #2 (Laika)”
“No Cars Go”
“Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
“The Suburbs (Continued)”
“Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
“Crown of Love”
“We Used To Wait”
“Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
“Keep The Car Running”