Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Here Comes the Night Time

I opted to post on FB that we were waiting for Arcade Fire to start their performance.

That got a snarky comment by CB (is there any other kind?) "asking" if I wasn't too old to for a rock concert. He also used the word 'gramps' in there too.

Normally, I'd call him a prick - and I probably did (in my head) - but there were times leading up to the concert the same thoughts had crossed my mind.  ....except for the 'gramps' part.  I had spent part of the day wondering,  'ugh, should we go?  It's so cold out (still)....wouldn't it be easier to stay at home?... and ....it's a school night.....'   Those old man thoughts.

I'm really really glad we went.

First, there was a big to-do, when tickets were sold months ago. The band requested that people 'dress up' to attend. Some folks took that as mandatory and got their panties in a wad.

But 'dress up' can mean many things. Many took it as suit/tie or formal dress.  Many took it as to don a costume. There was both groups there.  Me?  Neither. I dressed for warmth as it was 11 degrees out. I might be a gramps, but fuck if I'm not going to be a practical, warm gramps.

Yes, 710 and I skewed a bit older than the mostly upper-20 something crowd. But then there was a guy who sat in front of us who looked like current-day Jerry Van Dyke, so I felt ok. Actually, there were a number of 40 and 50 somethings....and I'm pretty sure (though not overly confident) they just weren't transporting their kids there.

Arcade Fire put on a hell of a show. A great show, in fact.  One of the best I've seen. For some of their marginal material, they really made most of that sound great in a live setting.

In the studio the band are pretty much a sextet. On stage, they double that, with most of the band being multi-instrumentalists....so all bets are off on who plays what on stage. It's kind of cool.

Another great thing about them is their set-list. It changes nightly - the song choices and the order. There are so many acts that have the same song and order, but the exact same stage patter, movements, etc that you feel like you should be watching a fund raiser on PBS.

I had never seen Arcade Fire. Since I've lived in Cleveland, they played here once and it was for an Obama fundraiser - for like a total of 6 songs. I wasn't sure how this would go down:  it could be packed because they don't play here, but their last disk Reflektor seemed to have dropped from the charts immediately.

The place was pretty well sold out though. And the floor was SRO. General Admission.  Those were almost exclusively the 20-somethings (though I saw a few dinosaurs roaming there).

It was a long set - almost two hours and 21 songs, with the first five or six songs having no break and just great segues between each one. That is impressive anyways, but considering the set is different every night, I was more impressed.

The group relied heavily on Reflektor and the Suburbs. Even Funeral had a decent showing of tunes. Neon Bible was barely touched upon with only two songs. And one cover of Devo's "Uncontrollable Urge".

And in a nod to Devo, the Papier Mâché Reflektors "played" a cover of Devo's cover of the Stones' "Satisfaction", before Arcade Fire broke into "Reflektor" on the main stage.

There were a few missteps, if you axe me. Having Régine Chassagne sing lead vocals on three songs in a row was a bit much. She's a decent backing or harmony vocalist, but lead? No.

And for "Sprawl II" , she was finally halfway through the song when a concert-goer decided to pass out at the stage. The band stopped to assist (nice touch Win Butler!), but then he said they'd take the song 'from the top', so we had to hear that screeching again.

And while I'm ok with the song, "Here Comes the Night Time", it's not a closing number. (technically, I guess it wasn't with the encore of "Wake Up" from Funeral.)

But these are trivial things.  Butler did a great job engaging the audience and his vocals were strong. The band itself was phenomenal and if you have a chance to see them live, I suggest doing it.

If I have one regret it was not being able to take my nephew. He'd have loved it, but he's studying abroad (not 'a broad').  Maybe next go-around.

Song by: Arcade Fire

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