Arcade Fire in Concert at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire in Concert at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY, August 22nd, 2014

Aug 26, 2014 Arcade Fire Photography by Robert Altman Bookmark and Share

Arcade Fire is sometimes accused of being a bit too cerebral and serious. Three nearly sold-out nights at Barclays Center in Brooklyn at the tail end of a long arena tour might suggest that there are a lot of like-minded fans out there. The fans were like-minded…but serious would not be the first or last word to describe a magical evening.

Opening with a mirror suit man standing on what turned out to be a repeatedly used secondary stage announced the start of an evening full of deviations from the concert “norm.” All attention then turned to the front of the arena as a black veil dropped to reveal the true wizards of the evening. Do pay attention to the men and women behind the curtain. Arcade Fire, a Canadian export led by lead singers Win Butler and Regine Chassagne were out in full force. 12 band members (and occasionally others) made the capacious Barclays’ stage seem just big enough to contain them.

Leading off with title track from last year’s album Reflektor boosted the energy level to an 11. No dour introspective thought could last through the sheer visual and musical vitality of that number. The crowd, many in formal and exotic attire as requested by the band, started moving and never stopped. Starting with big numbers can be risky for a band whose catalogue is weak or lacks depth-that was not a problem for Arcade Fire. Even their older and decidedly more introspective tracks take on a new life when heard and seen in concert. Filling two hours seemed effortless—the wizards working their magic perfectly.

Clearly the Barclay’s stage I fact wasn’t quite big enough as the show over-flowed to the secondary smaller stage toward the back of the main floor. Occupied by male dancers, Mexican Day of the Dead characters (with Chassagne), the ‘bobble head’ band, along with the mysterious mirror suited ‘emcee’ it served to create a dynamic visual dialogue with the main stage. Never a dull moment…

Throughout the Reflektor tour Arcade Fire has been covering a song from a local band. They did play an LCD Sound System snippet “All My Friends”…but that was merely a tease. During the encore they brought out NY Dolls’ David Johansen (a.k.a. Buster Poindexter) to perform ‘Hot Hot Hot’. Closing with ‘Wake Up’ brought the evening full circle for both new and old fans.

Arcade Fire proved themselves once again to be a fantastic live band. Melding intellectual themes and complex global influenced music with great sounds and craftily constructed memorable melodies. No matter the some critics and nay-sayers, the band demonstrated that Reflektor—which hit No. 1 when released—has legs live. They are proof that music with substance can be both entertaining and sell tickets. Mainstream radio may not agree- but plenty of fans in Brooklyn certainly did. Arcade Fire owned the arena—and maybe even Brooklyn for a night or 2…or 3!

Set List:

1. Reflektor

2. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)

3. Rebellion (Lies)

4. Joan of Arc

5. The Suburbs

6. The Suburbs (Continued)

7. Ready to Start

8. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)

9. We Exist

10. Keep the Car Running (w/ LCD Soundsystem’s ‘All My Friend’s’ snippet)

11. No Cars Go

12. Haïti

13. Afterlife

14. It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus) (Régine on B-stage)

15. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) (‘Damian Taylor Remix’ intro)


16. Hot Hot Hot (w/ Buster Poindexter)

17. Here Comes the Night Time

18. Normal Person

19. Wake Up



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