Unless you’re counting one-offs like the David Bowie second line in New Orleans, Arcade Fire haven’t played any proper headlining shows since an August 2014 gig in their Montreal hometown. But as of this morning, it looks like they’re rumbling back to life, and they’ve got a few dates coming up.
The first thing on Arcade Fire’s 2016 calendar isn’t billed as an Arcade Fire show. Instead, it’s Kanpe Kanaval, an annual benefit for KANPE, a charity that raises money for Haiti. (Arcade Fire co-leader Régine Chassagne, born in Haiti, co-founded the charity.) The Kanpe Kanaval comes to Montreal’s Society for Arts and Technology on 2/19, and Chassagne will co-host it with The Office actor Rainn Wilson.
Arcade Fire aren’t on the Kanpe Kanaval bill, but it’s set to feature Chassagne, as well as Arcade Fire members Win Butler (in his DJ Windows 98 guise) and Richard Reed Perry. It doesn’t seem impossible that this would turn into a full-fledged Arcade Fire show, but that’s not what’s been announced. The bill also features people like David Byrne, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Saul Williams, as well as Haitian rara dancers and musicians. There are also more performers to be announced, and you can cop tickets here.
And while that might not be a regular Arcade Fire show, there are also a couple of those coming out. As the band announced on their Twitter this morning, they’ll be one of the headliners at Spain’s Bilbao BBK Live festival, which runs 7/7-9. And they’ll also headline the 7/9 bill at Portugal’s NOS Alive festival. That same festival also features the suddenly-playing-shows-again Radiohead. And as with Radiohead, you have to wonder whether those festival-headlining bookings are an indication that there’s a new album on the way. We can hope!