Arcade Fire Chooses Pageantry over Music 4/27/14: Recap, Setlist, Photos

arcadefire_stageband.jpg
Jason Stoff
It's just a reflektor.

CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK

* Butler didn't yak a ton from the stage, but just before "Wake Up," the band's second song of the night, he cautioned, "We're not fucking around, St. Louis." He also recalled when the band nearly broke up onstage while playing the Rocket Bar many years ago and, just before last night's finale, declared how important it was in his line of work to be a professional. "If you want to play one-third of an arena, you've gotta keep it pro," Butler laughed.

* With band members constantly switching instruments and running off- and onstage, it was hard to keep track of people. But at one point, we counted thirteen musicians performing simultaneously.

* "Rebellion (Lies)" sounded especially strong last night, with the falsetto harmonies sounding truer than we've ever heard them. During the song, Will Butler (Win's brother) jumped from the stage and banged a snare drum while running up the stairs past section 104.

* Our media pass got us seats on the left-hand side of the stage, directly in line with the massive speakers. We're normally cool with this, but Arcade Fire had its bass unusually turned up to eleven, and the out-of-character reverberations blew out our ears, pounded our throat and tickled our feet -- in the bad way, people. We later left Chaifetz with a migraine and swirly tummy as souvenirs.

* With a little help from the makeup department, Butler could become a twin for Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki in the Thor films.

* RFT Music took Arcade Fire's suggestion of formal wear to heart, with our writer in an iridescent violet prom gown and our photographer in a charcoal suit with no tie. But we were in the minority, as more attendees decided to wear animal masks or normal clothes to the show. St. Louis isn't a fan of dress codes, you know.

* The band closed the evening with a passionate, extended rendition of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven," during which Win Butler descended into the audience while Will took vocals. Win posed on the soundboard stage for a few seconds before walking casually through the crowd, almost as if he were willing people to admire him.

* Arcade Fire originally was slated to perform at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater before moving the show to the much smaller Chaifetz Arena.

* tUnE-yArDs and Kid Koala opened the show.


SETLIST

Here Comes the Night Time
Wake Up
Flashbulb Eyes
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Rebellion (Lies)
We Used to Wait
Empty Room
The Suburbs
Ready to Start
No Cars Go
Haïti
We Exist
Supersymmetry
It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)
Afterlife
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)

Encore
Normal Person
Reflektor
Roll Over Beethoven

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20 comments
wump
wump

alibaba is usually the least reprehensible @ the RFT, not on this one.  she is still better than the rest, this is just an excuse to say something vaguely controversial, SCHWING

Eric Peters
Eric Peters

Myself and Jon Ryan attended the show and felt the EXACT same way. You must have overheard our conversation before you wrote this article...

Alicia Hernandez
Alicia Hernandez

I don't know about this... it was a damn good show and from what I've heard much better than the last time they were here (with The National?) You guys may have been the only ones left disappointed.

daniel.sexauer
daniel.sexauer

Something to note..the band requested formal wear OR costumes (and not just formal wear).  I left this show very pleased.  First time seeing them.  Yes it was very visually stunning, but the band sounded great, too.

rachel.isreal
rachel.isreal

You can learn more about the show from the comments than from the actual "review" here, which leads me to paint this as the Fox 2 News equivalent of print.  You make a bold statement in your flashy headline and then do little to support it within the review; ironically, this is what you claim Arcade Fire did in their show but never really support.  Putting aside the comment about the bass, your very few mentions of the actual music are actually strong ("'Rebellion (Lies)' sounded especially strong last night" and attributing the adjective passionate to their cover of "Roll Over Beethoven").  I'm not a die-hard fan who thinks it's impossible for a band I enjoy to put on a bad show.  Restaurant critics can dislike an establishment and some people will still patronize and enjoy their meals regardless; however, this review is the equivalent of a restaurant review proclaiming that the taste of the food is lost based on what the wait staff is wearing and never really mention what was served.

romancandle82
romancandle82

Good review. I went in with low expectations. They were phenomenal when I saw them in Dallas during their Suburbs tour. It was a real "rock" show. Theatrics are a distraction from the music. The majority of the audience enjoyed it but it left me uninterested. The excitement was not there. They played the same songs from the previous records as the last time I saw them. It should be noted every album was well represented except for Neon Bible.

apocallipses
apocallipses

It didn't seem that they took it that seriously when Win said before the encore "If you're selling out thirds of arenas, you've gotta keep it professional!"

Adam G. Breeze
Adam G. Breeze

Any word on Kid Koala's setlist (really liked the first track)

Joshua Sydney-Smith
Joshua Sydney-Smith

They were fantastic. I loved the set list spanning all the albums. Asking for any level of dress code makes most people make a bit of an effort I felt. I mean I didnt see a single cardinals shirt, the go to out fit for all st louisans!

Jeff
Jeff

This show was way better than the 2011 show at Saavisscotttradekiel. They were really tight last night and the sound was phenomenal for an arena show.

ut_4_me
ut_4_me

WTF?  Telling us what a band and their fans wore is not a review.

Robby Sappington
Robby Sappington

tells me that even with your prestigious multimedia pass that got you one of the best seats in the house, you decide to complain about factors that are completely irrelevant to them absolutely crushing Chaifetz. If you go to concerts to worry about what others are wearing or how they are enjoying themselves, you are completely doing it wrong........

Riverfront Times
Riverfront Times

The fact that "one line" (actually, there are, like, three) is about the music may tell you something. Also, our writer is an old lady, not an old man.

Robby Sappington
Robby Sappington

well when only ONE LINE of your entire review is about the actual music.... i think you take their antics much more serious than they do. Next time a world class band plays in your front yard you might not want to tell them to Get off your Lawn old man

Matt Harnish
Matt Harnish

I missed it! Did Wayne Butler go out in the crowd in the giant hamster ball?

ut_4_me
ut_4_me

@Jeff  Thank you Jeff.  You just gave me more of a review in 2 sentences then that clown Allison Babka was able to manage in two pages.

allison.babka
allison.babka topcommenter

@ut_4_me @Jeff Next time, I will give you sparklers and candy and offer explanations for all of "Lost's" mysteries.

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