Arcade Fire (Reading & Leeds 2010)
Arcade Fire should headline every festival, every year. Festivals are incomplete without their sublime talent, incredible song translation from record to live set and brilliant modesty. Seeing the band headline Latitude back in 2007, I had no doubt in my mind that the band would not disappoint. The most notable difference to this set was the presence of songs from the fantastic new album 'The Suburbs'.
The Canadian group commented on how they had never had a hit single yet still ended up with the headline slots at this major festival. I couldn't imagine the 7 piece on a smaller stage, not least because of the versatile band's huge amount of instruments, but also because Arcade Fire produce a sound accessible and liked by all.
Opener 'Ready To Start', an instant classic from the latest record was recognised word for word by the crowds. It's difficult to determine which songs stood out as every track was a hit, but this was certainly a powerful opening. Frontman Win Butler jokingly referenced the hour-long delay of Axl Rose and his cronies the previous night saying, "At least we're punctual, right?"
Hits from previous albums interspersed with the brilliant new material, the set was rich with dynamic music as performed by the ultimate pros. Taking a pause and leaving the stage after 'Rebellion (Lies)' leaving the audience yearning for more, each person anticipating the world's most satisfying singalong 'Wake Up'. This wish was of course fulfilled after one more number, 'Modern Man'; a jittery rock and roll style track that got the audience moving and warmed up for the grand finale. I can pinpoint the finisher as being the moment that I, alongside several thousand other people, totally wrecked my vocal chords. But if you're going to sacrifice the ability to speak, Arcade Fire singalongs are the way to do it.