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Arcade Fire & Spoon, Enmore Theatre, 23-1-08

January 24, 2008
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I think I’m going to have to be embarrassingly honest here; I was almost as excited about seeing Spoon as Arcade Fire. Hence the reason I bought a ticket for the second night, and sold my ticket for the first night.

Don’t get me wrong, Spoon were brilliant. Britt Daniel’s rocking out, especially in such songs as I Summon You and The Beast and Dragon, Adored, was awesome to watch. The only thing was that I wasn’t in love with Daniel’s voice the whole time. His vocals are integral to the whole feel of the songs, and when recorded, they are perfect. I realise how difficult it would be to nail them all the way I wanted, but it really did detract from the overall enjoyment of seeing Spoon live. Still, I can’t really complain too much, with songs such as You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb and Don’t Make Me a Target being so damned awesome.

But Spoon were nothing – yes, nothing – compared to Arcade Fire. I was lucky enough to get there early and score a spot about two or three metres from the stage, something I was a bit nervous about, as I’d always been seated before, but it ended up being the best thing that could’ve happened. Being so close to the band members, I could feel the raw energy coming from them, and I think that’s so much of what Arcade Fire is all about.

That, and I swear both Win and Régine looked me right in the eye.

I made the assumption that Wake Up would be left until the end, or even until one of the encores, but they opened with it. Best thing they ever could’ve done; it not only got everyone hyped up and energetic, but it also almost made me cry (oh god…). I think it was a similar reason to Sufjan, actually, in that I was just, like, fuck, man, it’s Arcade Fire! Live! Three metres away! Oh, and it was damn awesome. That also mattered a fair bit.

The pipe organ came in on Intervention (I think), and it added a whole new element to the atmosphere. I can’t put into words how much drama and energy was put into the room by that one instrument, it was a feeling I’ll remember for a long time.

Jeph Jacques (of Questionable Content) mentioned seeing the Arcade Fire a while back, and took special note of a particular guy whose job was basically to bang on a drum as hard as he could at the appropriate moments, not caring if he looked stupid or whatever. Well, I don’t know if it’s the same guy, as the one I saw did a lot of other stuff too, but in Neighbourhood #2 (Laika), there was this one guy who spent the whole time just bashing the hell out of cymbals, drums, and a motorbike helmet. He was so into it that at one stage he lost his drumstick, and on his way to pick it up, he didn’t stop banging the cymbal, he just used his fist instead, just as hard as he would the drumstick. Now I know what Jeph was talking about… Wow!

During Rebellion (Lies), Win climbed into the crowd and started a mini-mosh, while the crowd were left to sing each reprise of “lies, lies”, a task which they performed with enormous enthusiasm (me included).

There was so much more to this gig than I could ever write about here, so I think I’ll just finish off and let you imagine the rest for yourselves. I will say one thing though: I don’t think I’ll ever go to another gig as totally freaking awesome as this. Unless, of course, I see Arcade Fire again. Maybe with Broken Social Scene opening, or something…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. James permalink
    January 24, 2008 8:12 am

    I forgot to mention – the last of their encores was an acoustic rendition of the Violent Femmes’ ‘Kiss Off’, something I think was lost on a lot of the audience. Embarrassingly enough, I knew the words to that better than most of the Arcade Fire songs…

  2. Nick permalink
    January 24, 2008 9:06 am

    Tickets went back on sale to see them on the 30th while I was at work today! FUCK!

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