Posted by: kaleidophonic | September 23, 2011

Arcade Fire Con’t

Well, I was wrong about the estimates of the crowd at last night’s show. The Montreal Gazette reported that there were 101,000 people packed into quartier des spectacles, all bouncing and singing along with Arcade Fire. It sure felt like that many people! We showed up just after 7pm and couldn’t get any closer than behind the sound tent (which is a terrible place to watch the stage from, btw). It was really shoulder to shoulder. Kid Koala was the first to play, his spinning is pretty rad. Love his Koala costume. How does he spin with those big Koala paws??

Karkwa went on, they were kind of boring, but the Quebecois peeps in the crowd seemed pretty appreciative. Standing so close to so many warm bodies was making us thirsty, so Glo risked her life by diving into the sea of bodies in an effort to reach a beer-vendor who was wading through the crowd not 10 meters away from us. We thought for sure she’d be swallowed by the crowd and never find us again… but then she returned… carefully balancing three cold ones and grinning ear to ear. Mission accomplished!! Our thirst slaked we chatted a bit and sniffed at the heavy scent of marijuana, which seemed to be coming from all directions. There was a bit of a fuss when someone just next to us fell down to the pavement. Drugs? Panic from being in such a huge crowd? I don’t know. Some kind people helped him up and they moved off away from the crush.

Finally the Arcade Fire’s presence was announced with a giant stage-screen announcing ‘Coming Soon: Arcade Fire’. Cute. The group started off with “Ready to Start” and cheers swept from the front of the crowd all the way back to the street. They played well and the sound mix (which seemed to be lacking something when Karkwa was playing) was great. The best part for me was hearing tens of thousands of people singing along with the band. There’s just something about that many voices raised in unison that never fails to make my hair stand on end. Beautiful

About halfway through their set I had to bail, my back was screaming at me to go sit down for a bit. Stupid spine. So we started an epic trek back through the crowd, which took forever. We passed so many smiling faces, young and old, and only a few were framed with the bad hipster haircuts and creepy pedo mustaches that characterize the Plateau-hipsters. By the way, worst hair award goes to Win Butler. Seriously dude, I know this is Montreal, home of fancy fashion and crazy haircuts, but yours is just not attractive. Anyways, we hung out behind the crowd a bit, had some water and juice (I was feeling nauseous by then too), and watched some hipsters standing on top of a post-office box bob and sway to the music. We witnessed two individuals being brought out of the crowd on stretchers. With that many people crammed into one space, accidents are bound to happen I guess.

We stuck around for awhile before thinking it might be a good idea to head to the metro before the 100,997 other people did, so I missed the finale. But all in all, a great show. Arcade Fire are great musicians, and had no problem translating the lush, full sound of their studio albums into a live performance. Well worth seeing if you ever get the chance.

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