Arcade Fire refuses to stay in the world of 2004, where alternative/experimental bands are swept away with the likes of Nine Days and Steps. The band, or I should say, small village of nine, continues to flourish as the years pass. By bringing smashing techniques and sound mixing, Arcade Fire continues to elevate their already unique style. Three years have passed since the band’s release of their last album, Reflecktor, which relied heavily of Kraftwerk-esque synthesizers. Their new album, Everything Now, features African bongos, a deep flute, and a paraphernalia of other instruments.
The band and their truck-load of equipment descended upon San Diego in November and performed at the SDSU Viejas Arena. The stadium is usually purposed for hockey and basketball games so the concert felt more like attending a long, high-stakes showdown. Disco-balled light shows were projected onto wide sports screens, giving the venue an exciting feel. Audience members were turned from avid music listeners into crazed fans, as the band quickly got everyone on their feet, swaying blissfully to the techno-beats.
The crowd showed up to dance, as many fans arrived with Arcade Fire’s characteristic eccentric costumes and wild face make-up. It was great to see middle-aged parents get their groove on with sparkly embroidered jackets and other statement pieces. Arcade Fire’s following is like a band of wild children breaking out of a dark cave into the light, filled with uncontainable excitement. People in the crowd were pumping arms, jumping about, and waving their hands in the air (as many fans brought colored streamers to dance along with the band).
The energy of the show was not caused by the fans alone, but mainly from the attention-grabbing nature of the band. As the ensemble stood on a rotating wrestling ring– equipped with ropes– it looked as if the band also wanted to be let loose from their boundaries. In a pinnacle moment of their opening song, “Everything Now,” the ropes fell to the floor dramatically. The night also included smoke, strobe lights, and of course, confetti for the encore. Lights from the large disco-balls cast an orange hue upon the crowd, really summing up the golden jubilation felt that night.
May Arcade Fire never leave to the world of forgotten indie/alternative bands, and keep carving out the path for new musical ingenuity. May Arcade Fire keep producing music that makes people jump to their feet and simply howl to the moon.