Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem / Sept. 28, 2007 / Kansas City, MO (Starlight Theater)
If their stage show is any indication, it must be fun to be a member of Arcade Fire. The Canadian group has long been known for their mind-blowing live shows, but it's difficult to pinpoint exactly whIf their stage show is any indication, it must be fun to be a member of Arcade Fire. The Canadian group has long been known for their mind-blowing live shows, but it's difficult to pinpoint exactly why unless you witness the spectacle for yourself - and it most certainly is a spectacle.
Following a set by openers LCD Soundsystem, a series of politically charged videos of farmers and evangelical preachers playing on circular screens spaced around the stage heralded Arcade Fire's entrance. On this particular Friday night, in the cool, fall air of the outdoor Starlight Theater in Kansas City, the group launched into their 10-person assault with "Black Mirror," the opening track from their latest full-length, "Neon Bible."
"No Cars Go," which followed, was particularly engaging; the crowd shouted along with frontman Win Butler and acquiesced to his urging to dance in the aisles. Butler makes an unlikely stadium troubadour, exuding a cool not unlike that of early 90s-era Billy Corgan. Butler has an incredible ability to engage the audience simply with his own energy and his investment in his own music.
Though dancing might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Arcade Fire, the crowd continued to think otherwise as the band jumped into the rousing, tropical groove of "Haiti." While Regine Chassagne shook her hips in a black and silver sequined dress, the audience followed suit, some pulling their glowsticks down from behind their ears to drum along with the two drummers already on stage.
Beyond that, the band performed an inspired cover of the Magnetic Fields' "Born on a Train" (with Butler remarking that Kansas City seemed like a "train kind of town"), a jammy version of "Neighborhood 1 (Tunnels)" with an extended coda and a moving rendition of "Rebellion (Lies)."
For their unfortunately short encore, the group pulled out "Crown of Love" and a predictable, but still welcomed, rendition of "Wake Up." As the audience sang along to the final song’s anthemic hook, it was clear to all that an Arcade Fire show is truly something you have to experience first-hand to appreciate fully.