Secret shows are always a little more special than regular ones, but when Arcade Fire secretly demands that you show up in your finest costume and/or formal attire, you obey valiantly and dive into the what is sure to be the best night ever. While waiting in a line a mile long with bunny rabbits, prom queens, robots and the like, the eager dressed up fans buzzed about everything from the potential repeat stage fake-out from the previous night’s show to rumors of celebrity appearances (à la the post-SNL Arcade Fire Live Special.)
Upon entry into the spacious warehouse of 299 Meserole, a light was shining onto the only visible stage with a rotating “The Reflektors” immediately debunking the theory of another stage fake-out. Impatient fans packed themselves in like sardines while tunes by Marvin Gaye, The Killers, and Elvis Costello played through the speakers to placate the crowd. Suddenly, the music cut out with an introduction from a curtain-shielded Pat Mahoney. Then, the curtains dramatically dropped to reveal Arcade Fire clad in their matching white suits and chanteuse Regine in her typical heavily sequined dress. They kicked off the night with first single “Reflektor,” sparking a frenzy as soon as the first chord was struck.
Centering the entire evening around their new album (and new alias) The Reflektors, Arcade Fire played 9 new songs off an album that was mostly unheard at the time. With tracks that were scattered throughout the large spectrum that is the genre of rock, many influences could be heard within the songs. Most notably, “We Exist” held the similar flair, funk, and bass line of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean“. No one seemed to mind while they got their groove on to the 80’s sounding tune.
Naturally, the show was peppered with lengthy songs that came fairly close to the seven minute mark, but the attitude and energy level of the entire venue never dipped below ecstatic. Of the new tracks, the most upbeat was easily “Afterlife,” with it’s memorable chorus “Can we work it out? If we scream and shout?” it was the perfect lead in for “Power Out” which made the crowd – myself included – go absolutely batty (and of course, scream and shout.)
The final crowd-pleaser and encore for the night, “Haiti” left long-standing fans whistling along and overwhelmingly delighted to have been part of such an intimate evening with their favorite Canadian septet.
First post by the wonderful Jabes/ Twitter: @JabestEver