Arcade Fire captivates Starlight crowd

Samuel Towns

Each human life consists of moments that stand apart from the others. Typically, these are moments where we fall in love, or get married, or witness the birth of our first child. But, when pitted against Arcade Fire’s concert on the infamous 20th day of April, any of these moments would pale in comparison.

The stage instantly lit up when Arcade Fire’s opener shook Starlight’s amphitheatre. Giant Jumbotron screens played video of the band in the background as they strummed their guitars and banged their drums in the foreground.

Audience members were in great supply and standing room filled up quickly. Clouds of blown smoke rose every few moments from scattered pockets of the crowd; some were enjoying the concert a little bit differently.

The band’s energy on stage was impressive. Each member was running about enthusiastically performing songs they clearly knew by heart much to the enjoyment of the thousands of fans in the stands.

Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, the husband and wife duo who head up Arcade Fire, were smiling at each other just as much as they were grinning at the audience. One could see how important and personal their music is to them.

A great deal of the songs they performed on 4/20 came from their album “Funeral.” This album is one of their more personal ones because the death of several relatives coincided with its production. A somber feeling that perhaps otherwise wouldn’t have weaseled its way into each track was able to.

The other members of the band, Will Butler, Richard Reed Perry, Sarah Neufeld, Tim Kingsbury, and Jeremy Gara each brought something unique to the band’s starlit Starlight stage. During their hour and a half set, members of the band switched duties. Chassagne would be slammin’ on the drums for one song and then for the next she’d don her infamous accordion and rock out a little bit differently.

Throughout the performance, Butler continually praised the Starlight for their efforts to help the Haitian struggle; proceeds from Arcade Fire’s ticket sales went toward helping Haiti in their most dire time of need.

The band concluded their initial set with the infamous track “Wake Up.” The entire crowd chanted along to the dynamic track, each knowing it by heart. “If the children don’t grow up, our bodies get bigger, but our hearts get torn-up!” There was a collective energy as Arcade Fire belted out the heart-felt lyrics to a full crowd.

Another moment that really struck the audience was during their performance of “Neon” Bible’s track “No Cars Go.” During the breakdown in this song, Butler begins a slow chant that is contagiously catchy and builds a mounting energy that explodes into a sick-nasty rhythm.

“Between the click of the light and the start of the dream.”

After Arcade Fire ended their set, the audience members decided then and there that they hadn’t had enough. Chants could be heard making its way towards the stage, bouncing off the amphitheatre’s acoustics and returning to us amplified in all its outrageous glory.

Then, like any good band would, Arcade Fire returned to the stage to send each of their fans a proper send off, rocking the house down and prompting each of us to drive home happy and with a giant Arcade Fire-sized smile plastered on our faces.

[email protected]