Friday, December 31, 2010

In The Light They Both Looked the Same

Arcade Fire (with Calexico)
Roy Wilkins
September 22, 2010

This was going to be a tough one. Lots of baggage going into it. The arcade fire/lcd soundsystem show 3+ years ago at the Roy is one of my favorite all time shows (top five, probably #5). The ICC hadn't seen them before, so i really wanted this to be a knock your socks off kinda show so he could know the cathartic joy of which i'd repeatedly spoke (taunted). And I'm not totally in love with The Suburbs (Neon Bible was more uneven, but it soared higher) so i was a little worried about how the show might translate. So it was really hard to not have heightened/unrealistic/confused expectations for this one.

I needn't have worried.

Oh sure, i got drenched going into the Roy. And as much as i like Calexico on record, the cavernous Roy is NOT the place for them. Their sound was muddy and the mix just didn't work. I was counting songs and wishing them off the stage (although in the proper venue i'd go see them again). and of course, our meeting spot was inhabited by a loud know it all and his even louder know it all (what i assume was his) father. (dude, i'm so glad your brother went to college with win's brother...please tell me again, and again....btw, your wife/girlfriend seems kinda embarrassed by you and your fawning over that high school classmate)

But Arcade Fire were just as phenomenal as they were 3 years ago. Dynamic, energetic, passionate, they believe that rock and roll can save your mortal soul (or fire it up as the case may be) and make you dance real slow. And for 90 minutes i even liked the Suburbs songs (ok, i've cottoned to more of them than i had before the show, although i haven't listened lately....) I love how they destroy their instruments on stage with their furious playing (well...maybe it isn't exactly their instrument they are destroying what with all their promiscuous instrument switching), i think they would be wonderful to see just standing naked under the autumn moon, pounding on rocks and tearing out grass and howling like demented monkeys.

Primal and urgent and full of truth and beauty they are. There aren't many bands i'd want to see more than once or twice. I'd go see arcade fire anytime.

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