Canadian indie rock stalwarts Arcade Fire certainly didn’t mince words during their headlining set at the inaugural Panorama festival on New York’s Randall’s Island last night (July 22), using their platform to take a stand against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, as well as other political issues.
After performing 2013’s “Normal Person,” Win Butler paused to offer his thoughts on the recent political upheaval in the United States. “Donald Trump will f—ing never, ever be the President of the f—ing United States of America,” he insisted. “There’s no f—ing way, there’s no f—ing chance.” He concluded, “Black Lives Matter” — shouting out the activist group currently working against racial discrimination, inequalities in the criminal justice system, and police brutality.
Later on in the set, after performing 2007’s “Keep The Car Running,” Butler added that “there’s a lot of f—ing empty patriotic talk right now — but we have to f—ing stick together man.”
The mood got more somber with the band’s tribute to the late David Bowie — after showing pictures of Ziggy Stardust across the Jumbotrons early in the set, the band brought up the Preservation Hall Jazz Band towards the end of the night for a Bowie-themed second line, performing “Suffragette City,” “Heroes,” and “Rebel Rebel.”
“Even though he wasn’t from here,” Butler told the crowd, “New York was David Bowie’s f—ing city. We met him here — it hurts every day that he’s not here.”
Watch the performance below: