Arcade Fire Take Arena Sound Front and Center in Austin (SHOW REVIEW/PHOTOS)

Love them or hate them, there is no denying that Arcade Fire know how to put on a show. Whether it’s a stage full of mirrors for the Reflektor tour, a massive billboard used as a screen for The Suburbs tour, or playing on a stage in the middle of the audience, as they are currently doing in support of their new album, Everything Now, the Montreal band makes attending their shows worth the price of admission. At Austin’s Frank Erwin Center on September 27th, massive screens topped each side so that the audience could see what was happening on all sides while band members frequently switch position from song to song.

Walking through the crowd, the band climbed onto the stage that had been setup to look like a boxing ring. The stage layout allowed for two or three members at a time to be at each of the four sides of the stage while the drummer sat on a rotating pedestal that allowed him to face every audience member throughout each song. To start off the show, Arcade Fire launched into the title track from their new LP, Everything Now, before diving into “Signs of Life”. Having a couple of new songs out of the way, the band then played their breakout hit from their debut album, “Rebellion (Lies)”. They kept the momentum going by playing some fan favorites off their first two albums and indie, self-titled EP, with “Haiti”, “Keep the Car Running” and “No Cars Go” (dedicated to the audience members who attended Arcade Fire’s first Austin show at Emo’s, “all one of you”). What could be counted as an intermission for fans came with the performance of “Electric Blue” in which Regine Chassagne sang repetitive, often unintelligible lyrics, giving audience members a chance to use the restroom, sit for a spell, or grab another drink. After playing one of the more stand out songs from the new album, “Put Your Money on Me”, they launched into a mostly chronological retrospective by performing one or two songs from each album. “My Body is a Cage” and “The Suburbs” (followed by “The Suburbs (Continued)”) had many longtime fans excited. “Reflektor” found Regine dancing in the audience and “We Don’t Deserve Love” saw Win Butler in the audience reading the lyrics from the screen as if he were performing karaoke. The show’s encore ended with “Wake Up” and as the song ended the band marched through the crowd as the audience sang along.

Though the new album contains its fair share of sub-par tracks and filler, luckily most of the lackluster material didn’t make it into the set list. The ones that did make it onto the set translated much better in a live setting then they do on the album, making the show more enjoyable and giving the songs more context as a whole. Compared to their last few appearances in Austin, this show wasn’t sold out, maybe due to the response to this latest album. However, Arcade Fire puts their all into every show and the crowd gives it right back with singing and dancing instead of talking through the performance as is typical in Austin. The infectious energy of Arcade Fire and their fans made the show feel like a sort of Texas homecoming for the Butler brothers, and they clearly had as great a time on stage as their adoring audience.

All photos by Maggie Boyd. 

Arcade Fire Setlist Frank Erwin Center, Austin, TX, USA 2017, Infinite Content

Related Content

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts

New to Glide

Keep up-to-date with Glide