Arcade Fire 9/12/17

(a) setlist

    1. Everything Now
    2. Signs Of Life
    3. Rebellion (Lies)
    4. Here Comes The Night Time
    5. Haiti
    6. No Cars Go
    7. Put Your Money On Me
    8. Neon Bible
    9. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
    10. The Suburbs
    11. Ready To Start
    12. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
    13. Reflektor
    14. Afterlife
    15. Infinite Content
    16. Creature Comfort
    17. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)

Encore:

  1. We Don’t Deserve Love
  2. Everything Now (continued) (with Preservation Hall Jazz Band)
  3. Wake Up

 

(b) highlights

  • Hot damn, now THIS was an Arcade Fire show!
  • I’ve been an Arcade Fire fan for over a decade and I’ve been waiting for a show just like this; while I did see the band for the first time during their Reflektor tour, I remember very little about that show because of the circumstances; this show replaced so much
  • “Creature Comfort”!!!! “Wake Up”!!! “Neon Bible”! “Ready To Start”! Every damn track from Funeral, I mean Jesus Christ, this setlist
  • Despite purchasing tickets in the nosebleeds, MSG randomly upgraded me and my friends to basically the best seats I’ve ever had in that venue
  • There are few greater live moments than seeing “Wake Up” live
  • Grandmaster Flash was the opener and lowkey great

(c) lowlights

  • years have passed, the album has simmered, and I still don’t like Reflektor; the few songs that were performed noticeably brought down the crowd around me
  • a guy in the crowd behind me at one point said, “God, I can’t wait until they play “Mr. Brightside!” I almost projectile vomited.

(d) overall thoughts

I have a weird relationship with Arcade Fire. I really liked Funeral when it first came out and still consider Neon Bible to be a perfect record. I wasn’t crazy about The Suburbs when it first came out, then came to my senses a few years later. Then Reflektor was released. For some reason, that album rubbed me the wrong way and I couldn’t ever shake it.

I had high hopes for Everything Now after hearing the lead single and “Creature Comfort,” probably one of the greatest songs Arcade Fire has ever written, and really looked forward to this show. Ultimately, the album wasn’t perfect – it had just as many issues as incredible moments – but the emotion was there. And Arcade Fire brought it to life this night at Madison Square Garden. A boxing ring featured the band “in round” moving between instruments, across the stage, and from microphone to speaker. Every member was frenetic beyond belief and the energy in the venue was so high.

I was shocked by the number of tracks that popped up from Funeral throughout the night and loved the crowd’s reaction to each one. “Neon Bible” was one of the highlights of the night when the venue went dark and everyone instinctually took out their cellphone lights. Everyone’s face glowed, we all felt so connected, and all I could do was pine for more from that record.

Even though Everything Now was imperfect as an album, the attention to detail from Win Butler’s stage outfit and lights, to the interactive visual display and connective thread between each track brought the entire night together. This was a beautiful night and I applaud Arcade Fire for being such a successful and purposeful band that actually gives a shit about live performance and giving a shit in general.

 

Bottom line: Arcade Fire isn’t an incredibly successful band because every single thing they do is gold; they make mistakes and take risks and put on incredibly lively performances. But more than anything, they actually give a shit about Putting On A Show and there’s nothing I respect more.

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