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May 10, 2007

Arcade Fire at the Orpheum in Boston

In a stroke of luck I ended up getting a ticket to the Arcade Fire (band site)concert in Boston tonight. I've been listening to their latest, Neon Bible, nonstop since I picked it up last month. The New York Times has a pretty decent article on the band.

The show was at the Orpheum, a good place to catch live music because it isn't so huge like a football or basketball arena. Even the bad tickets in the theater (the ones still available an hour after tickets went on sale) are close enough to see the action on stage.

Two things of note about the show:

I like this snip from the New York Times article that gets at the energy of the performance and the instrument switching:

The exhilarating spectacle the band creates for its live shows arises from the conflagration of energies, the barely controlled chaos of seven precocious musicians, all of whom play multiple instruments (sometimes swapping between songs, sometimes swapping within songs) and who generate countermelodies, sonic textures and onstage interactions that are part riotous play, part unnerving provocation. There’s Richie, who plays bowed double bass and taught himself an idiosyncratic electric guitar (he appears to be wringing the neck of a dead chicken) and embraces the use of police sirens and megaphones; and Will, the technically dextrous, highly tactile keyboardist, who often leaves the ivories to bait Richie onstage, grabbing his friend’s double bass or drumming on his head with sticks or enacting various scenes of mock-torture; and Jeremy, the amply-tattooed heavy-metal enthusiast, who pummels the drums (or the piano when Régine takes a turn on percussion) with such ferocity that Win sometimes looks back and thinks Jeremy’s arms are going to snap right off.

The musicians kept things pretty tight, and close to the form of the albums (not a lot of experimentation or derivation from the recordings).

Definitely worth checking out if you appreciate a good indie band...and can get tickets. Looks like most of their shows sell out very quickly.

Posted by mike at May 10, 2007 11:15 PM