Nine years ago, one of CMJ’s more buzzed about discoveries was Arcade Fire at Mercury Lounge. Last night, playing as the Reflektors, the now-rock stars handily upstaged the entire Music Marathon with the first of two sold-out shows in Brooklyn, the band’s first concerts since last month’s gigs at at Montreal’s Salsathèque.
Peter Hopkins, one of the curators of the venue at 299 Meserole St., said in Wall Street Journal earlier this week, “Live Nation told me they could have absolutely done this at Madison Square Garden, but they were looking for something that more reflected the demographic of the people who like the Arcade Fire.”
Fans, dressed in mandatory formal wear or costumes, lined up hours early outside the Bushwick art space. They were let inside shortly after 8 PM and crowded around the small stage set up with some gear, setlists, and a Reflektors logo behind it. Ninety minutes later, “Reflektor” producer James Murphy took the stage with some bad news: “There’s been a little snafu. We can only get three members right now. But it’s going to be OK. I’d like to introduce the Reflektors!”
Three people in those familiar papier-mâché masks came onstage to jam awkwardly on bad reggae for a bit. Then, on the opposite side of the room, a curtain dropped to reveal the real, larger stage, where the real, larger Arcade Fire launched into “Reflektor.” A chaotic stampede of kids in fancy suits and dresses ensued. Some were not amused.
Win Butler later apologized for the deception (“Sorry we played a trick on you … We just thought it was funny”) during the hour-long set that included several vibrant Reflektor cuts not yet heard via Here Comes The Night Time. But twenty minutes after the band left the stage following “Here Comes The Night Time II,” fans expected an encore. Win returned, dismayed by having to awkwardly explain that the performance was over, and that a dance party would follow. There were boos. “If that’s super a bummer that we’re going to dance with you and party all night, then go home.”
Watch some clips, and check out the setlist, below.
02 “Flashbulb Eyes”
03 “We Exist”
04 “Normal Person”
05 “Joan Of Arc”
06 “It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus)”
07 “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”
09 “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)”
10 “Here Comes The Night Time II”
Arcade Fire’s Reflektor is out 10/29 via Merge.
[Img via Billboard.]