The Arcade Fire – May 24

This is a rather belated post regarding last week’s Arcade Fire concert at Deer Lake. Quite simply, it was a fantastic concert. I was excited to see the number of instruments on stage prior to the concert, yet was worried about how the collection of would sound in the open air environment. It would be difficult to find a more perfect setting though. The warm, late spring evening had a buzz in the air as the crowd readied themselves for the energy to come. The energy came, and it was non-stop. My worries of sound quality were soon dispatched. Any band bringing the old pipe organ and the french horn to the rock concert stage is taking a risk. I can attest to the fact that the horn has to be one of the most difficult instruments to play. The Arcade Fire pull it off and then some. All the instruments shone individually and collectively. Plus, the organ is just really cool! Without the organ, and the horn, and the whole brass section, and the strings, and chorus of voices, and the running, and the climbing, and the incredibly tight timing, and the percussion smashing, and ten people on stage, we would have been left with what? The White Stripes perhaps? That would not have been a bad thing, the White Stripes have talent. The only this is, The Arcade Fire bring all that stuff, bring more energy than the audience knows what to do with and “not bad” is surpassed with ease. As stated, it was fantastic.

While I would have enjoyed a couple more songs from Funeral (Crown of Love and Neighborhood #4 in particular would have been welcomed), there was a good balance between the 2004 album and the recent Neon Bible. My favourites were Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels), The Well and the Lighthouse, and the final song of the encore, Wake Up. It was as though it was a call to action, and the crowd was ready with the final lyrics: “Look out below!” Equally engaging was the haunting voice instrumental the band engaged in to conclude Rebellion and the main set, which the crowd took up as the left the stage. Definitely another highlight, and making the song another one of my favourites from the evening. Finally, it seemed Butler et al. were genuinely excited about and appreciative of the evening. They had recently played a lot of theatre shows and the unique setting, and perfect evening seemed to fuel them even more. For all their outstanding timing, and astounding sound they still seemed fairly humble. Some might say, how appropriately Canadian. My musical appreciation is better for having seen them live.

Possible Set-list is below. Please let me know if you think there should be any corrections:
The Arcade Fire – May 24, 2007 at Deer Lake
Black Mirror
Keep the Car Running
No Cars Go
Une Annee Sans Lumiere
Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
In the Backseat
Neon Bible
Antichrist Television Blues
Ocean of Noise
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
The Well and the Lighthouse
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Rebellion (Lies)
My Body is a Cage
Wake Up


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