Canadians on Canadians: Arcade Fire @ Hollywood Bowl, 9/20/07
Sean, a trusted weekly coffee breaker, shares some words and images from last Thursday’s gala show featuring fellow Canadians Arcade Fire. -Ed
LCD Soundsystem/Arcade Fire
Hollywood Bowl, 9/20
“This place smells like Dodger Dogs but it feels like rock n’ roll.”
– Collin “Boots” Tiegs, in a rapturous fervor.
So the last time I saw the Arcade Fire they weren’t happy campers. It was an admittedly asinine KROQ show – something about an ’Inland Invasion’ – and the bro surplus was inexplicable. I recall Richard Reed Parry running into the crowd and chucking drum sticks at the monitors and stage while Win Butler made pseudo-political statements that fell on deaf ears. Thankfully, tonight was a totally different beast. The Arcade Fire were veritably “in it,” aided and abetted by a crowd that ate up every last granular element of the raucous spectacle. In all their earnest glory, the Arcade Fire truly tried, as they most always do, to affect us with their wicked rad theatrics. From opener ’Black Mirror’ to the epic encore ’Wake Up’ finale, the troupe de Arcade exuded a joy that was matched if not trumped by a unified Bowl audience. Of course, credit is due to the inimitable LCD Soundsystem (I missed Wild Light) for priming the crowd.
The set was near-flawless and complemented by several mini-spherical screens that were adorned with images from silent films and intimate close-ups of the band in action. Win dedicated ’Intervention’ to “Governor Bush,” I couldn’t tell if he was being ironical or if the song was really about Jeb; however, as ’Windowsill’ came to a close, he began chanting ’Money changes everything!’ before reciting the opening line to LCD’s ’All My Friends’ and it didn’t seem even remotely unorthodox. Perhaps that’s what’s incredible about this band – only they (and perhaps Milli Vanilli) could recite such a phrase without sounding totally pretentious. By the night’s end, as my man Collin hollered the above quotation into my ears, I may have been moderately confused, but I couldn’t help but agree whole heartedly. The Arcade Fire have indisputably become a defining band of the contemporary milieu, one that clearly identifies our fears and reminds us of why we must never fail to love.
Oh yeah and Spike Jonze was sitting behind us and he thought the show was killer as well.