Apr 26, 2011

Arcade Fire (with the National) Concert at UIC Pavilion, Chicago on April 25, 2011

Now I know why $300 headphones are selling at the Apple Store. I had the epiphany that lying down in a dark room, listening to AF with amazing headphones under or not under the influence of illegal or otherwise legal substance, could be life changing. I also now want my daughter to take up the drums, keyboard, accordion, and expand her vocal range, so she too can be in a band someday, the likes of AF's Regine Chassagne. I was duly impressed. This Montreal band of eight is something else. High, unwavering energy for 90 plus minutes, vocals, drums and more drums (two complete sets on stage plus other "hand held" single drums, violins that rock out, keyboards, and of course guitar). I was completely absorbed in their energy and exuberance. The multi-media video extravaganza the band put together to accompany each song was completely engrossing and matched the music perfectly. Each song had its own staging with regard to the re-positioning of cameras and lighting.

And admit it, Win Butler and Regine Chassagne sound like movie star names in an old classic film. Almost too good to be true that they are the dynamic couple fronting this band. Having said that, it really seemed that each musician shined individually. There was a true team player attitude and everyone took ownership of the bands successful spot-on performance, equally.

The National was a fantastic opening act (or double bill). I actually commented during the The National's performance that the music did not seem loud. I was punished severely by the increase in decibels during the Arcade performance. I did not mind until the next day when I was saddled with a splitting headache (and I had not one drink!) for the entire day (well until the ibuprofen set in and a nap could be had).

UIC is a great place to see a show since you could stand and have room (if you do not go too close) or you can be in the thick of it in front. The seats all seemed decent especially if there is a screen showing the stage. I stood dead center about 100 feet back and the sound was good (albeit loud) and I could still see the band if on tip toes. We had "dance floor" tickets and dancing could not be stopped. The show get's a 5 out of 5 guitar rating for talent, creativity, and energy.
Word of caution at the UIC Pavilion. Beer is expensive and parking is available (for $15) in two lots. Now leaving the lot is another story. There is no system for leaving so you can get stuck in the lot for an hour. I recommend leaving during the encore (if you want to get out easily), or take the train or a taxi.

Click below for set list:

Arcade Fire Concert Setlist at UIC Pavilion, Chicago on April 25, 2011 | setlist.fm

Haiti from a You Tube posting from the 4/24/11 show:

The multi-media video on this one was a little nightmareish (two women, with pursed lips, in water wearing odd swim caps tight around their faces):

Afraid of Everyone, The National

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