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a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

Alright, as you already know, last week I finally got to see Arcade Fire live. After months of hype following their CMJ showcase and sold out Bowery Ballroom stint, we were so excited and also worried. Worried because, as has been said a thousand times at least, when a band has that much of a hype machine riding behind them, somehow they are just bound to be a disappointment when you get the chance to see them. Even those who run Arcade Fire fansites were feeling... anxious... and attempting to set themselves up to accept that this band couldn't possibly live up to all of the praise that was being heaped upon them.


And they exceeded it.

And not even because David Byrne came out during their encore, a delight for the audience AND the band as well. Because even if that hadn't happened and Byrne had stayed in the VIP section drinking PBRs with David Bowie, this would have been a fantastic show. From the first bursting "ahhs" of 'Wake Up', it was clear that this band is something truely special. For me a lot of it has to do with the animated way in which they perform and the passion and excitement with which they sing every note and strike every chord and violin string.

Their set featured all of the great tracks from "Funeral" and also some gems from the "Us Kids Know" ep including the fantastic "No Cars Go" and a beautiful ballad called "My Heart Is An Apple." The best song of the night, aside from "Naive Melody (This Must Be The Place)" was their performance of "Tunnels" which had the audience singing along to every word. I love this song because of the imagery that it creates, beautiful and childlike... I think the entire band has a collective Peter Pan complex. And this lends itself to a fantastic live performance, with jumping around, silly catfights between members, etc. etc. But then, only an adult could write a song as heartbreaking and wonderful as "Crown of Love." Somehow, all of this culminated and made it clear that the Arcade Fire really are as special as everyone says they are. If you ever get the chance to see them live, don't let it pass you by.

wheels! snake! SPIKE!

although david byrne will probably not be there...