Arcade Fire Conduct The Music Experiment


The latest stop in their relentless Reflektor album release media assault, Arcade Fire performed outdoors at the base of the Capitol Records tower in Hollywood Tuesday evening.

As part of MTV Iggy and Intel’s Music Experiment, which has already produced secret performances by Empire of the Sun in New York, Disclosure in Boston, and culminates with Taeyang in San Francisco on November 25, a lot at the corner of Hollywood and Vine was gated off, creating something of a mini carnival for somewhere around 2,000 attendees.


Never ones to be stingy, Arcade Fire–in their current incarnation as The Reflektors–delivered a full, energetic set of a dozen tunes, complete with encore (more about the band here, on their Palladium show). The elevated stage provided a generous view to those non-winners stuck outside the gates along Vine.

Music Experiment “challenge” winners who earned their admission to the show donned get ups that articulated the “Be A Reflektor” theme in a variety of ways. Read: lots of aluminum foil. Some did not quite get it (girl in mermaid costume; guy in Raiders jersey; brat kid jumping around in a unicorn mask). But then it is Halloween week and it is Hollywood, so an “anything goes” kind of mood in the air prevailed.


Sponsored contests tend to have a jumping-through-hoops quality about them (about which Win joked about on stage even) but the challenges for this particular event felt slightly more natural in that the artistic/homemade/dress-up themes align easily with the aesthetics of the band. At some level, it is just plain fun to reduce grown adults to taking up grade school arts and crafts in order to win something.

The rooftop band performance is something of rock tradition, from the Beatles on down to U2, so it’s a sign of the high territory Arcade Fire has eked out in the pantheon that at this stage of their career a rooftop show feels well earned.


Photos 1, 2 & 4 by MTV Iggy; Photo 3 by Marcus Haney