Concert Review: The Arcade Fire at the ACC

Karim and Kahzmir at the Arcade Fire concert!
Karim and Kahzmir at the Arcade Fire concert!

This past March 13th my son, Kahzmir, turned 8 years old! And so, like any other dad worth his salt, I took him to his first legit concert. Actually, that would not be the whole truth, but it’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

We both had a great time. And The Arcade Fire (I think they should drop the “The” from their name, by the way) put on one of the best concerts I have ever been to. It’s right up there with Neil Young/Oasis concert at Molson Park in August of 1996.

Kahzmir dressed to rock!
Kahzmir dressed to rock!

The main act started on a raised mini stage at the opposite end of the main stage with an intimate rendition of “My Body Is A Cage.”

The Arcade Fire
The Arcade Fire

After this short opening the main players ran through the crowd to the main stage to start into a loud and rocking rendition of “Reflektor” from their recent album of the same name.

More than anything, Arcade Fire came to rock and have fun. And rock they did. I’m a more recent convert to the Montreal-based band so I can only properly speak to their last 2 albums. The Suburbs was a breath of fresh air for someone who had for the longest time only listened to classic rock. An theme-focused album, The Suburbs was something new and invigorating. Listening to it, you could argue that Arcade Fire was not a rock album but a indie rock album fused with folk music.

Then came their fourth studio album, Reflektor. Now all bets were off. Here was a totally different sound. By this time, I had discovered that I actually knew a number of their older songs such as “Rebellion (Lies)”, “Wake Up” and “Keep The Car Running”. Yet Reflektor was something more. It was everything they were doing before. But now they infused percussion and horns and gave their sound a dance feel. And while others longed for the sounds of old, I was hooked.

Arcade Fire was the band that other successful bands wanted to be. Earlier last year, Pearl Jam also released a new album. Don’t remember? No one else does either. You see, Arcade Fire is not afraid to discover new sounds and experiment. And that’s what I love about this band right now.

That and their ability to rock the heck out! This concert, like I have said, was amazing. Not once did I sit down because of a slow song or a musical pause in the set. The band’s polished studio sound bore no resemblance to the loud and sped up rocking renditions of their hits and favourites. Imagine, after only four albums, this band can put out a greatest hits album if they wanted.

From the reggae inspired “Flashbulb Eyes” and the heavy and fast-paced “Joan of Arc” to the popular “No Cars Go” and dance-infused “Here Comes The Night Time”, this concert started fast and did not stop for over 2 hours. Even their encore break was less than 3 minutes long.

Arcade Fire comes back to Toronto on August 29th 2014.

Oh yeah, Kahzmir had a great time. As an eight year old (barely) I was a little bit worried. After observing the festivities, Kahzmir stayed on his feet for most of the concert. He felt a little tired and slept for a couple of songs. But after the Encore, he danced the rest of the way! #ProudFather

Kahzmir dancing to Here Comes The Night Time.
Kahzmir dancing to Here Comes The Night Time.

SET LIST:

1. “My Body is a Cage”

2. “Reflektor”

3. “Flashbulb Eyes”

4. “Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)”

5. “Rebellion (Lies)”

6. “Joan of Arc”

7. “Rococo”

8. “The Suburbs”

9. “Ready to Start”

10. “Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)”

11. “We Exist”

12. “No Cars Go”

13. “Haiti”

14. “Afterlife”

15. “It’s Never Over (Hey Orpheus)”

16. “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”

ENCORE:

17. “Normal Person”

18. “Young Lions” (Constantines cover)

19. “Here Comes the Night Time”

20. “Wake Up”

Chilling After Enjoying His First Concert!
Chilling After Enjoying His First Concert!