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!

Album Review: Reflektor – Arcade Fire

arcade fire reflektor
arcade fire reflektor

One of this year’s most anticipated albums was released a few weeks ago: Reflektor by Arcade Fire. I must admit that I am a recent convert to the Montreal band’s fusion of pop, rock and big, bold sounds.

I am also attracted to their amazing videos and how they use various media to showcase their musical art. When their interactive video for the title track to their latest album came out I wrote a piece on it here.

This latest double album release continues to showcase Arcade Fire as one of the world’s most original and genre bending bands of today.

Disc 1:

  • Reflektor – a perfect song to introduce their Haitian inspired sounds that reverberate throughout the album.
  • We Exist – an addictive song that is Arcade Fire’s only pop-sounding song on Reflektor.
  • Flashbuld Eyes – a fusion of dance and rock.
  • Here Comes The Night Time – one of my favourite songs. Put on your dancing shoes for this one. And while you’re at it, watch the “movie special” of the same name.
  • Normal Person – do you like rock and roll music?
  • You Already Know – yes, you do like rock and roll.
  • Joan Of Arc – Billboard magazine calls this the most U2 sounding song of Reflektor. Maybe.

Disc 2:

  • Here Comes The Night Time II – the second half begins…
  • Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice) – percussion instruments dominate this 6 minute tune
  • It’s Never Over (Hey Orpheus) – a beautiful symphony of rocking guitars and soulful silence.
  • Porno – a song that sounds like the the theme song for a space adventure.
  • Afterlife – another fun song to dance with and rock out to. And another fun video to watch.
  • Supersymmetry – a beautiful end to 2013’s Album Of The Year.

Arcade Fire keep pushing boundaries of digital content with Reflektor

Holy shit. Arcade Fire has done it again. And I’m not referring to their new single, Reflektor. I’m talking about their new video (I call it their new digital experience because that’s what it is).

I have previously spoken about Arcade Fire and their innovations in digital both here and here.

Today their new single and video(s) were released at 9pm local time. The traditional video is dark and gets some getting used to. However, when I found out that Arcade Fire also released an interactive experience I was hooked.

Another Chrome experiment, the experience is actually called Just A Reflektor and is a short film that follows the world of a woman in Haiti as she experiences both her world and ours.

Here are a couple of screen shots:

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 9.18.54 PM

This one is of me within the video.

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 10.12.47 PM

The one above is of the heroine.

Vincent Morisset is again the genius behind this production as he was with sprawl2. If you haven’t experienced the video make sure to watch experience it and read about the technology here.

Make sure to use the Chrome browser via desktop/laptop or an iOS/Android device. Enjoy!