Three Nights With Arcade Fire Still Ain’t Enough

After hitting the first night of this past week’s Arcade Fire mania, there was no way we were gonna let ‘em play four more shows and not try to go again. Our friends confirmed two things through the week: as expected, they were getting better each night; and if you turned up early with $29 in your pocket, you were probably gonna get in. And so we did. Twice! The last two nights were one better than the next, the band opening Saturday where they left off on Friday, with “Wake Up” in the middle of the venue’s floor. But there was something in the church air that last night, magical in that “this is the best band in the world right now” sorta way — not only the best show of the run but one of the best we’ve seen, like, ever.

Win loosened up more throughout the week, from barely saying a word Tuesday to laughing and teasing on Saturday. After three songs on night last he said, “Well you guys just keep getting better, don’t you?” with a big grin. “After the first show, I forgot how fucking weird this town is, but I feel good now.” He was comfy to the point of quizzing the congregation on its political leanings: “I haven’t had a chance to talk to New Yorkers about this. I heard someone tell me that Rudy Guliani was gonna win New York. Are you guys really gonna vote Rudy? I mean Jesus Fucking Christ!” On band intros, Win kept the Republican ribbing going: “I’m former mayor Rudy Guliani, you didn’t get mugged tonight because of me … I trust I can rely on your vote.” And there was some tease in him for his wife, too, laughing as he walked up to a mic she last used, height set somewhere near his navel. “Who’s this tall?” he turned and laughed. But after being unable to loosen the stand’s adjuster, he complained, “Régine you’re really fucking strong. It’s because you’re a drummer.” If that’s what you have to tell yourself, Win.

Musical highlight: The transition from “Ocean Of Noise” to “Rebellion (Lies).” Just sayin’.

We can be critical, if you insist. The first encore of Saturday night was a little rough; Rudy Guliani admitted the songs they chose would be tough for his illness-battered voice, and they were. We could hear the strain on “My Body Is A Cage” and “Neon Bible,” but it was heart warming to hear the horn in the balcony, to see Will taking red tape and slowly looping Regine and Win’s necks together during “Neon Bible,” and to have Win give every ounce of himself to the show. And that’s where the criticism ends, because we got two encores, and “Laika” destroyed. And remember how we said Richard left the helmet at home? It was out and proud for “Neighborhood #2.”

The love continued after the show as Win jumped off the stage and into the crowd for handshakes and sweaty back pats. On our way out, we saw a smiling John Legend and Michael Stipe. Add ‘em to David Byrne, Lou Reed, Drew Barrymore, Spike Jonze, Nikolai Fraiture, Fab Moretti, and Kirsten Dunst for the week. Celebs dig Arcade Fire. Who knew? Here’s some vid of the band opening the show Saturday night with “Wake Up” in the crowd.

If you missed it, there’s still hope. NPR has the audio from the night, and a video camera crew was there to document, hopefully for a live DVD. For now, head to NPR and enjoy (and please make us MP3s!). Or head here for good quality MP3s from Friday night. Listen for the “Ocean Of Noise” > “Rebellion (Lies)” transition on both nights. Good shit.

SETLISTS
2/13/07
01. “Keep The Car Running”
02. “(Antichrist Television Blues)”
03. “Black Mirror”
04. “Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son” (Serge Gainsbourg cover)
05. “No Cars Go”
06. “Haiti”
07. “Black Wave/Bad Vibrations”
08. “My Body Is A Cage”
09. “Neon Bible”
10. “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)”
11. “Rebellion (Lies)”
12. “Intervention”

13. “Windowsill”
14. “The Well And The Lighthouse”

2/14/07
01. “No Cars Go”
02. “Haiti”
03. “Black Mirror”
04. “Keep The Car Running
05. “(Antichrist Television Blues)”
06. “Black Wave/Bad Vibrations”
07. “My Body Is A Cage”
08. “Windowsill”
09. “The Well And The Lighthouse”
10. “Power Out”
11. “Rebellion (Lies)”
12. “Intervention”

13. “Ocean Of Noise”
14. “Tunnels”

2/15/07
01. “Black Mirror”
02. “Keep The Car Running”
03. “(Antichrist Television Blues)”
04. “No Cars Go”
05. “Haiti”
06. “Black Wave/Bad Vibrations”
07. “My Body Is A Cage”
08. “Windowsill”
09. “The Well & The Lighthouse”
10. “Power Out” –>
11. “Rebellion”
12. “Intervention”

13. “Neon Bible”
14. “Wake Up” (in crowd)

2/16/07
01. “No Cars Go”
02. “Haiti”
03. “Black Mirror”
04. “Keep The Car Running”
05. “(Antichrist Television Blues)”
06. “Black Wave/Bad Vibrations”
07. “”Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son””
08. “Well And The Lighthouse”
09. “Ocean of Noise” –>
10. “Rebellion (Lies)”
11. “Intervention”

12. “Neon Bible”
13. “Wake Up” (in crowd)

2/17/07
01. “Wake Up” (in crowd)
02. “Black Mirror”
03. “Keep The Car Running”
04. “No Cars Go”
05. “Haiti”
06. “”Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son”
07. “Black Wave/Bad Vibrations”
08. ‘The Well And The Lighthouse”
09. “Ocean Of Noise” –>
10. “Rebellion (Lies)”
11. “Intervention”

12. “My Body Is A Cage”
13. “Neon Bible”

14. “Neighborhood#2 (Laika)”

Tags: Arcade Fire