Climactic and Stunning As Ever
Arcade Fire can't fail to amaze; their organic and spontaneous feeling live sets, crammed with as much actions as their songs are instruments are a constant source of wonder. Yet when you have so much to live upto, it's hard to exceed expectations.
Despite Glasgow's SECC being a big, and often soulless venue, the passion that Arcade Fire have for their music brings their fans together; breathing life into the venue as much as they work magic on their newer material. 'Neon Bibles' tracks really come to life live, from being fascinating on record, on stage they become addictive and all consuming, enthralling you with mystical tales of kings and throes of passion. From the mesmeric opener, 'Black Mirror' to 'My Body Is A Cage' with Win on organ and stark instrumentation contrasting the rich texture of the majority of the set, leaving you breathless with wonder.
The stage set is much as it has been at the band's festival appearances with vertical strip lights at the front of the stage and large round TV screens lighting up with religious fanaticism which the band come on stage to, at various key points during the set projections, mostly in monochrome, play behind the band. The stage design is therefore as enigmatic as the band's music, which despite being utterly convincing, has very little in terms of clear meaning, and perhaps it's this mystery that keeps Arcade Fire unique and universally important.
From the earnest, haunting and fervent passion of tracks like 'Ocean Of Noise' and 'Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)', to the sweet, sugar-coated, 'Haiti' led by Régine, there's an abundance of variety that sees the band constantly swapping instruments and the crowd constantly kept on their feet and guessing what will come next.
'Rebellion (Lies)' and 'Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)' are definite stand outs with the cries of "oooh oooh" echoing across the hall even after the band have finished playing and left the stage. That's not to say that the new tunes aren't anthemic enough, but it's clear that the tracks from 'Funeral' were those that converted the majority of fans to Arcade Fire followers. Perhaps as a result of this unbridled excitement the band pull out the stops with, 'Wake Up' bringing the show to a fantastic climax.
It would be unfair to say that this set wasn't stunning, but stunning is commonplae for Arcade Fire and one wonders what they'll bring to the next tour to keep the crowd in just as much awe.