Monday, 19 March 2007

The Best Band in the World

After I had set ridiculously high expectations for for Arcade Fire's show on Saturday it was inevitable that they would let me down, wasn't it? Well, no. They were every bit as wonderful as I'd hoped and, in fact, knew they would be. Songs that already sound impossibly expansive when played on hardware at home take on an extra dimension in the live setting. It's barely conceivable that this complex music could be accurately played live at all but it all works so well. They really do make the most glorious noise I've ever heard.

What is very apparent is how much they all (ten of them, I think) love playing these songs. They each play each one as if it is the last they'll ever get to play. Then they do it again with the next song, and the one after that. Win is a brooding presence (and probably the only rock star to ever successfully sport braces) but Regine, in particular, seems to be the embodiment of everything that is joyous about Arcade Fire. She is at once lost in the music but also right on top of everything as she sings and plays keyboards, drums, accordion and hurdy gurdy with an incredible energy. If it wasn't for the fact that there is so much going on elsewhere on the stage then you wouldn't be able to take your eyes off of her.

Every song was a killer but highlights for me were hearing the Funeral songs. They generally have a more anthemic quality to them than those from Neon Bible, excepting Intervention, which makes for more jumping and arm waving and chorus-chanting, things that I did more of on Saturday than I probably ever have. I was totally feeling it, man! Wake Up was amazing, featuring a level of crowd participation rarely seen outside an Old Firm derby.

I'm going to put the song order in now, just to help the memories stay in my mind. Same goes for this youtube clip featuring crap sound but showing a little of what it was like to be in the crowd during Wake Up. I now have to wait until Glastonbury to see them again. If I don't get a ticket I will be very very unhappy.

Setlist:

Keep the Car Running
No Cars Go
Haiti
Black Mirror
Black Wave/ Bad Vibrations
Windowsill
Ocean of Noise
Tunnels
The Well and the Lighthouse
Power Out
Rebellion/Lies
Intervention
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Wake Up
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Guns of Brixton