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  • Arcade Fire @ Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia 3/17/14
Credit: Eric Tsurumoto
Fans dance during Dan Deacon

Last fall, Arcade Fire caused a stir when they included a note on Ticketmaster requesting that fans wear formal attire or costume to their upcoming concerts. While their small warm-up shows in Montreal and Brooklyn featured this mandatory dress code, the band clarified that anyone upset about it should relax, because dressing up for the Reflektor arena tour was only recommended, not required. We polled over 12,000 of you guys about it, though, and 53% of you thought the suggested dress code was fine anyway.

Here’s Richard Reed Parry’s take, in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

We’re trying to make a show that feels like an event, that’s fun, that people want to be at and participate in. We’ve found from shows that we’ve done that people like to dress up, people like to put on a mask. Like, people love Halloween. I wait all year for Halloween. It’s great, the costume part of that and the dressing up part of that just enhances the feeling that it’s a special event that you’re investing it and trying to have it be an elevated experience from the every day. I think the more you can get people to participate actively in the show, the less of a show-spectator spectacle it becomes and it becomes more of a celebration, more of a moment that people can share together. A couple of people complained on the Internet when we announced it, but it’s like who gives a fuck? You can also not bring Christmas presents to Christmas and see how fun that is.

And of course these live shows do look like a lot of fun no matter what you’re wearing, especially because the band’s been covering city-appropriate songs from artists like Prince, Stevie Wonder, Constantines, and Boyz II Men.

Last night we sent photographer Eric Tsurumoto to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to capture both the performance and the dressed-up audience members who participated in making it a unique event. Check out the full gallery above.

Comments (27)
  1. I agree completely. Arcade Fire has always been about big cathartic payoffs at just the right time. Having a stadium full of 20 somethings all dressed up with lights strung from the ceiling and DJs made everything feel like prom. They actively tried to disorient their fans for the whole show. Everyone running back and forth between two stages where the band performed. I don’t think there could have been a more beautiful moment than during that tempo change in “Wake Up” with confetti and streamers everywhere. It was a total party.

  2. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • “We have been effectively put in our place” – those guys wearing jeans and a tie

    • Your comment pretty much sums up why I felt like the idea was stupid to begin. Here you have four nerdy average-looking guys who are probably broke college kids — engineering majors or something time consuming — and they don’t give two shits about fashion or what’s considered formally “hip.” They’re just looking to have a good time. And then there’s you, some commenter on a music web site calling them “Assholes” because they didn’t satisfy your high-brow expectations of seeing them wearing powder blue tuxes, Greek tragedy masks painted neon shooting confetti out of the eyes and neon bible blowing out of their asses.

      Arcade Fire make decent music and put on a fun show, but fuck this elitest fashioncore gimmick. Regardless of whether it’s voluntary or not, it still breeds judgement from people like jessecrownofthornz. Who wants to hang out with a bunch of judgy image-conscious squares? Not me…

  3. Concerts are expensive. The more special the event feels, the more it seems worth the effort and the money.

  4. indie rock Ren fair

  5. I didn’t know Dan Deacon was opening. I bet he’s having a lot of fun with a crowd that size; he really gets the crowd going, for those who haven’t been to one of his shows. It’s an awesome experience.

    • Dan Deacon Freakin’ Rules

    • On his Facebook account, he keeps posting pictures of all the stadiums that they’re playing. You can tell he is having the time of his life.

      On a related note, I remember seeing him play with a full band to a crowd of a 100 a few years ago. He played the show in a small coffee shop with no A/C or ventilation. It was sweaty, hot, dank and grimy but also the perfect environment for his brand of weirdo dance music, one of the greatest concert experiences of my life. This was after Bromst came out, so I was surprised to see him at such a small venue and even thought to myself, this man deserves to be playing to sold-out arenas.

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  7. Looks like a lot of people aren’t dressing up, which is good for people like me because it was hard enough convincing friends to come with, and I don’t think they’d be too psyched if this were a strictly enforced thing.

  8. I went to the Detroit show and everyone dressed up, except for all the cowards that showed up.

  9. This reminds me, can we get a few more polls up here? What has a guy gotta do to vote in a few more polls?

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