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.