Unless you've been living under a rock, you know Arcade Fire are currently shaking up North America with an enchanting spectacle of a tour. I caught the tour in Los Angeles where they played two nights at the historic Forum. Doors opened and thousands of fans filed in. The first band on the bill were indie-pop act The Unicorns. The group recently reformed and this was their first show back in just under a decade. They kept the fans entertained with poppy dance numbers.
Following The Unicorns, fans shifted their perspective to the center of the arena where a second stage was constructed. It was there that Dan Deacon started his set for the night. For those in attendance that got stuck in the back, it must have been nice to be close to any of the performers for the show. Plus, the second stage made the wait between sets minimal. Dan Deacon's set feature a barrage of lights and even a dance-off in the middle of the set.
Not long after Deacon's set, Arcade Fire took the stage -- opening with the title track from their newest album, Reflektor. The arena exploded with cheers while much of the crowd didn't hesitate to dance. It wasn't until the next song, "Flashbulb Eyes," that everyone got a feel for what surprises they had in store for their fans. Above the band there was a rigging of mirrors. As they began the song, the mirrors lowered and enclosed the band in a small space from above and behind. This gave the performance almost an intimate setting while also being a marvel to watch.
The band went on to next play songs from their debut full length, Funeral. They started with, "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" and then went straight into "Rebellion (Lies)." Afterwards they returned to their new album and played "Joan of Arc." During the performance, frontwoman, Regine Chassagne, garbed herself in clothes fitting for the song and stood atop a podium above the rest of the band.
The band didn't let the second stage go to waste either. After a string of songs from The Suburbs, the group played their latest single, "We Exist." The second stage featured the burly dancers reenacting the dance routine from the music video. Unfortunately, Andrew Garfield wasn't one of the dancers. When the band played, "Afterlife," guests found "Mirror Man" or "Reflektor Man" on the b-stage moving to the music. Regine even took to the b-stage to perform her portion of, "It's Never Over (Hey Orpheus)," where she was also surrounded by dancing skeletons. The last bit of amusement from the b-stage came in the form of a big-headed Arcade Fire playing Guns n' Roses', "Sweet Child o' Mine" while the real band was away before the encore.
When the band came back, they were ready to end the night on a high note. They rocked out through their own, "Normal Person," and then played a cover of Jane's Addiction's, "Been Caught Stealing" -- during which, Win Butler took cellphones from the fans up against the barrier. After playing the intro to "Welcome to the Jungle," the band went immediately into their track, "Here Comes the Night Time." Arcade Fire were finally ready to call it a night. They closed the night of course, with "Wake Up." Confetti was blown into the arena while the audience did their gang of "Whoas!" It was really one of the best events I've seen and highly recommend catching Arcade Fire if you can.
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