Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Arcade Fire @ DAR

OK - I've fallen a bit behind in my concert reviews. Let's see if I can catch up a little.

I initially had no desire to go to this show. I was over the hype. Neon Bible wasn't getting the glowing reviews that Funeral got. I've already seen these guys in a club. Despite the fact that they were fantastic last time, I just wasn't feeling it. The fact that it sold out in 3.5 seconds sealed the deal. I'll sit this one out.

Then I saw them on TV. Letterman? Conan? I forget. One of those late night shows. Damn. They sound really good. Maybe I should at least check out the new cd. Downloaded it via emusic. Damn. It's better than some of the reviews led me to believe. Then they announced that The National were opening. Crap. They're really good too. I should have bought tickets. No chance in hell, I figured. Only if I can get a seat right up front at face value. Wow. Thanks to a last minute release of tickets from TM, I suddenly found myself with a 7th row center ticket. Score.

I saw The National once a few years ago opening for The Walkmen. There were maybe 50 people in the club early enough to see them that night. Not very different on this night. The National came out to a house that was maybe 10% full. Maybe 250 people in their seats when they came out. They killed. They slowly, but surely, took control and as the crowd filled the arena people began to pay attention. By the end of their set the mostly-full hall was on their feet cheering. Keep an eye out for these guys.

Arcade Fire was next and they did not disappoint. They've got such a great, full sound. Their songs have a great sense of folk about them, but they simultaneously make you want to just rise up and start cheering and singing along. There's so much going on on stage, it's hard to keep up. A horn section, your basic guitar/drum rock setup, a multitude of odd little instruments and people just randomly banging on anything they can get to. It's as mesmerizing to watch as it is exciting to hear.

And their fans are just crazy. Easily the rowdiest I've seen DAR, an arena well-known for being very uptight. I really, really like this band, but I haven't quite drunk the water that some of these folks have. There's some serious Arcade-mania going on. Good for them.

My seat was amazing up until the singer told everyone to come down front. Suddenly I was treated to people jumping over my seat, smacking me in the head with their overzealous clapping, stomping on my feet, etc. That kind of sucked, but I didn't really care by that point. It bumped up the energy level about 1000% and nearly turned the show into a revival.

Believe the hype. They really are that good live. Like the records. Love the show.

Aw man! I would have loved to see that show. I have to start paying more attention to concert news!
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