Arcade Fire At Mercury Lounge

“Hi, we’re Flavor Of The Month,” joked Arcade Fire’s Win Butler before the Montreal sextet launched into an electrifying set at Mercury Lounge last night. The CMJ kids pumped their fists in rapt admiration and ate up every second. They’re Canadian, they love moths, and this show proved the Merge showcase headliners deserve all the hype.

Helmets, silkscreened blazers, an accordian, blood (Win had a guitar mishap early in the set) … these guys know how to put on a show. As you can see by the pics, the Arcaders trade instruments throughout the set, which is always fun. Who knew songs about funerals could rock so much? Did I mention the helmets?





Thanks Jen for being a trooper by waiting with me through Rosebuds and Lou Barlow.

Here’s a shitty pic I took of Lou.

For a guy who had a hand in some of the lasting indie rock masterpieces of the ’90s (as part of Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, and Folk Implosion), Lou was endearingly low-key. He carried his own equipment (two guitars and a loop pedal he was still learning to use) in and out of the club, and encouraged the audience to talk while he performed so he wouldn’t be nervous. The set was comprised largely of tunes from his forthcoming solo debut (out on Merge in January). Before playing a “political” song (calling for ladies to run the government), he sang the refrain from “Women Of The World.” Then I realized Sonic Youth were playing Irving Plaza at the same time, and yet again I missed an opportunity to see Jim O’Rourke live for the first time. One day.

Try to see Arcade Fire when they bring their wacky deathrock to your town. They play my alma mater 11/13, which is weird because no cool bands played during the four years I was there. Dates via arcadefire.com.

10/31 Halloween Show! Somewhere in Maine?
11/05 Halifax Pop Explosion Halifax, NS The Marquee
11/11 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
11/12 T.T. the Bears Boston, MA
11/13 Cornell University Noyes Community Center Ithaca, NY
11/14 First Unitarian Church Philadelphia, PA
11/15 Garfield Artworks Pittsburgh, PA
11/16 Beachland Ballroom Cleveland, OH
11/18 Magic Stick Detroit, MI
11/19 Southgate House Cincinnati, OH
11/20 The Dame Lexington, KY
11/21 Cafe Paradiso Urbana, IL
11/25 Logan Square Auditorium Chicago, IL
11/26 Empty Bottle Chicago, IL
11/30 Mojo’s Columbia, MO

You can stream a few Arcade Fire songs here. If you like ‘em, buy Funeral here.

Tonight’s CMJ picks:

Irving Plaza
ADEM 8:30 pm
JUANA MOLINA 9:20 pm
SONS AND DAUGHTERS 10:15 pm
CLINIC 11:20 pm

Bowery Ballroom
INOUK 7:00 pm
THE GOLDEN REPUBLIC 8:00 pm
SONDRE LERCHE 9:00 pm
VHS OR BETA 10:00 pm
THE CONCRETES 11:15 pm

Knitting Factory
THE LASHES 8:15 pm
THE REPUTATION 9:00 pm
COMMUNIQUE 10:00 pm
ENGINE DOWN 11:00 pm
TED LEO 12:00 am

Mercury Lounge
SHOUT OUT LOUDS 7:00 pm
MR. AIRPLANE MAN 8:00 pm
BLANCHE 9:00 pm
GREENHORNES 10:00 pm
SIGHTS 11:00 pm
HOLLY GOLIGHTLY 12:00 am
THE PAYBACKS 1:00 am

Northsix
IDA 8:00 pm
ZZZZ 8:45 pm
VOLCANO, IM STILL EXCITED 9:30 pm
DECIBULLY 10:15 pm
BISHOP ALLEN 11:00 pm
ALOHA 12:00 am
SATURDAY LOOKS GOOD TO ME 1:00 am

Sin-E
RAG CITY DOLLS 7:00 pm
GREY DOES MATTER (East Coast Peggy’s last show!) 8:00 pm
MAN MAN 8:45 pm
OFFICER MAY 9:30 pm
RUNNER & THE THERMODYNAMICS 10:15 pm
THE DEARS 11:00 pm
AQUI 11:45 pm
AN ALBATROSS 12:30 am

Tags: Arcade Fire, CMJ