Show Review: Arcade Fire @ The Backyard (5/3)

The Month of May.
Arcade Fire came to the Backyard, my backyard as we live about ten minutes away. The weather could not have been better and l had photo credits for one of biggest shows of the year. Check past the jump for more on the show that features Austin’s Schmillion and Explosions in the Sky opening.

Turning my attention to The Backyard first, here are a couple quick comments on our host. This place is gorgeous. Sound is great. Parking is a nightmare. You lose green credibility when you make people idle for half an hour to just move ten feet. Sort that out and we can talk.

Schmillion

They have songs up on iTunes, Youtube and Facebook. They are young and talented. It was fun to see all the proud fathers in the photo pit snapping away.

Explosions in the Sky

Big-Epic-Sweeping-Building

Knowing the standard song length for these guys, they gave us ten minutes in the photo pit which got us through the first track. I recall five songs. Couldn’t tell you the names, but they sounded familiar. I had recently given their latest a listen so that may account for the familiarity. I will say they sounded great and the wife was good for about thirty minutes of their instrumental jams, a triumph. I still prefer Calm Blue Sea and I know Reagan will punch me for saying that, but I freely admit these guys are awesome.

Arcade Fire

I fully understand why anyone would idolize this band. They were stunning. I had mentioned that Cut Copy had set the bar high. Different level of Show, a bigger stage, more lights, more everything, but the bar has been raised despite increased expectations.

After a video lead in featuring clips from The Warriors, a preacher foretelling the end of the world and a preview of the movie Over the Edge, the first three songs blew by in a blur while shooting at a furious pace. “Month of May” was the opener. I vaguely remember singing to the second and third songs, but I want to say “Rebellion (Lies)” was second. I was sucked into the performance and not recording memories. We walked away from the photo pit to “Rococo”. Beer, restroom, “The Suburbs” was next. Luckily, I had made my way back to the wife and friends to take in this masterpiece. Win (first name basis) mentioned how the video was shot in Austin prompting much rejoicing and he reminisced on his shallow roots in Houston.

I’ll probably be out of order because my notes were out of order. “(Tunnels)” was stunning, Win alluding to its being about the move to the Great White North. “Keep the Car Running” was elegant. “Used to Wait” was a precursor to the traffic jam in the parking lot. You, guy in the Subaru, aren’t more important than any of the rest of us, good luck getting out of that ditch. Just chill and wait for the mail.

The Encore was just amazing. “Ready to Start” was like a victory song. After all the show they had, they gave more. “Wake Up” followed. The entire crowd, which had been a bit flat just off the fray of the front rows, joined in. Goosebumps. They let the crowd off the hook with “Sprawl II”, Regine taking the lead to close out the set.

So I have seen some good bands in recent years. I have seen some really good bands this month. This is a great band, even if the Indie scene has lost them to the big time of NFL commercials, countless interview shows and Grammy Awards. Stay small on that big stage, Arcade Fire. We are counting on you.

More photos available on the photobriangray website.

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