Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The new L Train and the Arcade Fire

Last night, Marcie and I went uptown to the United Palace Theatre (my second Monday in a row there...) to see the National and the Arcade Fire. Only took 20 minutes to get up there from 34th st, which was nice. We got in, made fun of the overly kitsch decor (but even more so, we made fun of everyone who kept saying how beautiful the venue is--it's not. The decor doesn't make sense. It's too eclectic, too cheap looking, not authentic and just plain WEIRD. But Rev Ike's quotes were priceless).

But I digress. We got our seats in the balcony for the National who went on promptly at 8. They ran through most of the tracks from their new album "The Boxer" which all sounded great. Thankfully, they decided not to play the song with the horrible refrain "my mind was racing like a pronoun" which still just makes no sense to me.

There is a nice vid of "Secret Meeting." I love the National. They're just so good. His voice is perfect. Their sound filled the theatre very well. The multi-instrumentalist's viola was a great counterpoint to the dual guitar attack. Great set!

Then the Arcade Fire came on stage. Such pomp and circumstance. The crowd was whipped into a frenzy even before the band played a note. And with good reason--they are one of the best bands playing right now. They get it. They write great songs, play them well. Everything, albeit a little preachy, swells up and down so well. The grandeur of it all is what attracts people to it--the songs are big. It's a huge production.

The sound was great (it's not easy to mix that many people playing so many different instruments... like the Olivia Tremor Control's Bowery show a few years ago) but the lights were nothing special. The neon lights and the bible image that kept scrolling were good, but the LD could have done way more with the lights.

The band played all the songs from the new release, Neon Bible and the better songs from Funeral. All the songs sounded great--they really did. Regine's hurdy gurdy was good, as was the hammered dulcimer. The drummer was spot on the whole show. The violinist on the left won my heart with her dancing. And Win Butler was as energized as possible.

The peak of the show definitely came at the end of the set. They played Neighborhood 3 (Power Out) -> Rebellion (Lies) and the transition was pretty awesome. Crazy feedback, cacophony, madness and from that, emerged the beat of Rebellion (Lies). And it was good.

A predictable encore of Neighborhood 1 (Tunnels) and Intervention and that's all she wrote. The energy never let up throughout the 75 minutes they played for. Win and Regine definitely have a fire lit beneath them and it's fun to watch.

The train ride home was a royal pain in the ass. The crowded was full of hipsters (oh, by the way, this was one of the more unattractive crowds I've seen at a concert in a LONG time) who were SO loud and just annoying. The train was PACKED so of course it ran local. Marcie and I had seats, but when a woman with two young kids got on, we offered our seats. And the hipsters didn't make any room for us to stand up. Nice, thanks guy. It was just as bad as the L train during rush hour...

Overall, such a fantastic show. Watch the videos I posted. Enjoy!


At 3:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arcade Fire: A Neon Bible Study
By David Buckna

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow... It's definitely

"Your mind is racing like a pro now"

not "Your mind is racing like a pronoun".


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