Did you hear the news? Arcade Fire was in Vancouver the other night and played a great concert. Touring their new album, The Suburbs, the band left a mass collective of hipsters humming to the chorus of Wake Up and basking in the wake of what was an amazing concert. The band opened the show with an excellent execution of Ready To Start. A fitting song to lead off with, almost as if Win Butler was asking the audience, “Are you ready to start?” The audience obviously recognized this notion because in that moment the entire Pacific Coliseum was on its feet and roaring for more.The Suburbs was obviously the focus of this concert as they played almost every song off of the new album. Yet, they didn’t neglect to throw in a few fan favorites from previous full length releases Neon Bible and The Funeral.
[Arcade Fire performing Rebellion (Lies) at the Pacific Coliseum]
Win Butler’s stage presence was a remarkable feat of showmanship. The man conducted himself in a strong yet modest nature, thanking the audience after every amazing performance, yet still leaving no bars held when belting out songs like Modern Man and Intervention. His stage presence is clearly one of the reasons this band just keeps piling on the accolades. The combination of a Canadian indie sound, powerful lyrics and a hefty Texan, almost Cash-like voice is truly something rare to behold live. Win Butler wasn’t the only onstage character driving the concert onward; brother and band mate, William Butler also gave the audience something to talk about with his stage bravado. Whether it was running into the audience and beating a snare like a madman or giving you a reason to double take the keyboards every now and then; the man was a performing machine.
The Suburbs is an album which reflects the innocence of Win’s childhood in 1980’s suburban Texas. The album reminisces of a pre i-everything life and brings you back to a time when people maybe owned less and did more. One could feel these ideas during the concert first through the ironic usage of the old Pacific Coliseum, a very rustic venue, and secondly, through their use of the backdrop screen behind the band which showed visions of suburban life and interstate highways as the band played on.
This was truly a great concert. The members of Arcade Fire are all amazing performers and they succeeded in wowing me for an hour and a half. It should also be mentioned that a dollar from every ticket sold on their entire tour will be put towards relief in Haiti. The concert was only subject to a few minor mishaps, a couple seconds of the sound being cut out, and while playing the song Month of May they encountered some weird technical issue where the guitar was inaudible for ten or fifteen seconds. But these issues were miniscule, and no one seemed to care anyways. To be blunt, Arcade Fire is one of the greatest live performances you will ever see. They are one of those bands which will be listened to by your kids and possibly even your grandkids. They’ve had a serious impact on the independent music scene and are quintessential trailblazers for the genre’s promising direction.