Saw Arcade Fire at the Pavilion last night. They put on a hell of a show – tidal waves of rock noise, intricate choreographies of lights, a dozen people jumping and flailing on stage. They played a few songs off their new album, most of which sounded good. And despite being glorious hipster gods to the spectacled masses, Win Butler and Regine Chassagne looked embarrassed whenever they had to speak. Regine hemmed and hawed as she encouraged us to donate to Partners in Health, who were collecting a portion of ticket sales.
They closed the night with “Wake Up,” the song they’ll be opening or closing every concert with for the next twenty years. As the song started, a flurry of activity came behind me: a camera man, a boom operator, and three security guards ushering a man with a gray mop of hair to the stage in a quick walk. A daring spectator darted through the flying wedge to shake the VIP’s hand; he got two pumps before he was whisked away. This was Terry Gilliam, who’s directing Arcade Fire’s concert webcast in New York this Wednesday, getting a closer look at his material. Maybe we’ll see it on the DVD.
This concert was everything the Nas/Damian Marley concert wasn’t for me: prompt, consistent in energy and temperate. A lot of that was due to luck, of course: Boston doesn’t always give us 72-degree nights in the summer. And driving to the Pavilion and finding parking is a pain. But it was worth the hassle.
Arcade Fire marks the penultimate entry in my “Show That Never Ends” series*. Once I pick a show for September, I’ll have been to 12 concerts in 12 months. I have some ideas for “12 months” challenges I should do next, but I open it up to you as well. Any suggestions?
* Of course I’m aware of the irony. You never have to ask if I’m aware of the irony.