I’ve often felt sad when a band I love so much becomes big enough to sell out a venue the size of Madison Square Garden, especially if I haven’t yet seen them in concert. Such is the case with Arcade Fire. Why didn’t I ever see them at Central Park Summer Stage or when they played Hammerstein? The 19k-capacity Madison Square Garden is perfectly suited for hockey or basketball games but for concerts, it definitely leaves something to be desired. It’s rare you can get close enough to feel like you’re really experiencing the show. Despite my distaste for the venue (for the purposes of music), Arcade Fire managed to fill MSG with more glorious sounds than I thought possible. And they managed to fill it to near capacity as well. Although the intricacies of their multi-instrument sound couldn’t fully be appreciated in such a large space, they created an electricity that kept the crowd yearning for more.
The light and video show worked artfully with the performance, complementing it rather than upstaging it. All this provided a great backdrop for the Terry Gilliam directed live broadcast on Youtube, which I was able to catch as it repeated after the show. The AF songs that worked best at MSG were definitely those that are often larger than the albums they’re on, among them “Rebellion (Lies)“, “Wake Up”, “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)”, and “We Used the Wait” from the newly released The Suburbs. The band performed songs from all three albums, although it seemed to be slightly more weighted toward Funeral and The Suburbs.
I mentioned our going to the Arcade Fire show at Madison Square Garden to a number of people and I was surprised by how many people hadn’t heard of them before. It supports the understanding that their growth to MSG performance status has truly been organic rather than designed. Arcade Fire are an amazing band who I hope continue to make music for long into the future, or at least until I move to the suburbs.
Photo Slideshow of Arcade Fire’s August 5th Performance at Madison Square Garden
The Arcade Fire Set List for August 5th at Madison Square Garden (Via: Brooklyn Vegan)
- Ready to Start
- Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
- No Cars Go
- Empty Room
- The Suburbs
- Crown of Love
- We Used to Wait
- Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
- Rebellion (Lies)
- Month of May
- Keep the Car Running
- Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
- Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
- Wake Up
Here are a few video highlights of AF’s fantastic performance:
Here’s a Cool Pre-Show Video that Features the Band and Webcast Director Terry Gilliam
To create buzz for the show and their new album The Suburbs, Arcade Fire asked fans to share their images of their suburbs. Here’s a Flickr photo gallery of these photos, some of them quite good.
The Suburbs Photo Gallery
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