As regular readers will know, I’ve been a huge fan of Canadian band Arcade Fire for a while (here, here and here) so getting to see them live at Earls Court was a dream experience. I’ve already displayed one photograph but wanted to give a bit more detail of such a fantastic night. My thanks to my lovely girlfriend Madeleine who took such wonderful photographs.
I’d never been to Earls Court for music before, so I had no idea what the sound was like. The warm up acts of Owen Pallett and a DJ set by Pulp’s Steve Mackey were never going to distract from the main part of the evening, and as soon as the gloriously bass-heavy title track of Reflektor started, the crowd erupted. Their third song Power Out was my favourite, and really helped maintain the energy of the fans. A great single in its own, and the band’s first ever release, the electric sound reverberated around the arena. Other highlights included Lies, Ready to Start, The Suburbs, Sprawl II (Mountains move Mountains) and Tunnels.
While they never played Keep the Car Running, one of their best songs, an odd choice as they played weaker material on the night, the set list was largely a pretty good mix. Earls Court is not the music-friendly arena, and as lead singer Win Butler points out, will soon be demolished for flats, but that only added to the sense of being closer to the band.
But it’s never just the music. Other highlights of the night were the great lighting that had a fantastic array of colours, a mirrorball-suited dancing man, the lights being lowered from the ceiling for dance track We Exist and an appearance from Echo and the Bunnymen frontman Ian McCulloch for a cover of their song The Cutter. The closing encore song of Wake Up was a delightfully long, anthemic way to leave things.