Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Where's Luke Concert Review: Arcade Fire

About two weeks about, Open Bar and I went to see Arcade Fire in concert at Madison Square Garden. Were I not on blog vacation (industry jargon, YP, MP) I may have blogged about it in a more timely fashion.

The preamble is that only the two of us went, but we also invited Side Bar who had mentioned that he was developing an interest in Arcade Fire in previous goings on. But he didn't want to go. If he had gone and we could have bought the tickets on his AmEx card, then we would have had floor seats. Instead we were in the nosebleeds, but actually they were pretty good seats. Long and uninteresting to tell that whole story, but that's the bulk of it.

Anyhow, the concert was super fantastic awesome. It started with Owen Pallett, the dude who arranges the strings for Arcade Fire. He does this thing where he loops violin parts and plays more violin on top of it and the resulting sound is really pretty. I have his two albums and they are good. His one album, "Has a Good Home" is actually in constant rotation on my iPod. Except one dude playing one violin in a half empty arena doesn't exactly translate to a rockin' performance. I thought it was interesting, however. During that time, Open Bar went to watch the Mets game.

After that dude came Spoon. Open Bar said he recognized one of their songs from the radio, but I didn't recognize it. Their set started with a bunch of people on stage, most notably a horn section and the first couple songs rocked. Then the horn section left and I didn't enjoy the middle part as much. Then the horns came back and I enjoyed it again. They were actually pretty good overall, but I liked the horns.

Spoon didn't go off stage until like 9:45 and I lamented to Open Bar that Arcade Fire wouldn't go on until 10:15 and wouldn't finish until like 1:00 and I wouldn't get home until like 2:00 or 2:30. He seemed to think they would finish before 12:30, but I wasn't feeling that.

So, as predicted Arcade Fire comes on at 10:15. They fucking rocked it out. The second best part about watching an Arcade Fire concert is that they rock the shit out of a song and they all jump around and put tons of energy into it and you can't help but reciprocate that energy. The single best part, however, is that as soon as each song is finished, all of them (and there are like 12 of them) put down their instruments and run around and pick up new instruments to play the next song. Regine, also known as the little tiny girl in the shiny dress, ran from one side of the stage to the other in between every song. She played at least 6 instruments during the concert and also sang. They played a bunch of songs everyone knows and some songs from their new album, which had come out just the day before. (Awesome Music Week review coming on that one once I wrap my head around it a little more.)

And my pre-concert request as stated to Open Bar, "I hope they play all the 'Car' songs," came to fruition. The second song they played was "Keep the Car Running" and then during the encore they played "No Cars Go". They also rocked "Power Out", another of my favorites. And the highlight of the show was, of course, the finale. Their last song was "Wake Up", during which the chanted chorus was, well, chanted by everyone in the audience. Fucking rocked.

Finish time, 12:30, as Open Bar predicted. Plus I got a t-shirt. And even though it's a medium and not large, it isn't embarrasingly small, only "hipster tight" as I'm going to call it. I would fit in well in Williamsburg wearing that shirt.

This concert jumps near the top of the list of concerts I have ever attended. The first Dave Matthews concert I ever went to in 1996 I think is still at the top, just because it represented way more than just a concert to me, and also because me and Side Bar were in the 10th row. But aside from that one, I think this one is next. It was just so damn good. As my Facebook status the next day said: "Arcade Fire at MSG last night. Awesome. Sofa King Awesome."

1 comment:

Open Bar said...

I was also really glad they played "Rebellion" and "Neighborhood #1," both of which fucking rocked. Probably not that surprising, as those are two of their bigger hits.

I would've liked a few more time "Neon Bible" tracks since that's my favorite of their albums. Sure, there were the "Car" songs, but there was no "Antichrist Television Blues" or "Black Mirror," which would be great live songs. Even "Intervention," the song that first got me into Arcade Fire, I thought was a little disappointing. I felt like they were holding back, when that song sounds best as an all-out wailer.

But anyway, it's stupid when people bitch about what songs bands play or, especially, don't play at concerts. You pay to see the band; they choose the music. Whining about not hearing your favorite song is selfish and irritating -- especially if its some obscure track no one else likes. You're not special, you're just some pretentious dickface and I'm glad the band didn't play it because they hate you. And your stupid face.

Well, that got unnecessarily aggressive.