Canada’s husband and wife team that makes up Arcade Fire Régine Chassagne and Win Butler returned to Austin. This year’s tour was at UT’s Frank Erwin Center. Even without the massive set and theme (from which the entire concert and tour revolves around) the band continues their status as one of the top bands in the World.
Despite Butler playing in the direct center of the stage most of the set, Régine really stole the show. From her sexy red, leather suit to his tall build with hat and guitar- this show was high energy from the start. With a boxing ring as the stage (complete with ropes, ref and attire) there was also sparring, and introduction, parade to the stage the musicians showed off their acting skills as well. The announcer yells “Welcome the undisputed Heavyweight Champions of the World!”
There were cool globes hanging down (and in corners), huge laser lights, and a 360 revolving stage. The large logo of EN (for the 2017 LP Everything Now) was everywhere. The band created buzz long before the tour by using the web and social media to spread fake news and product brands all to spoof our ultra-consumerism and technology-dependent lifestyles. Visit the EN website NOW.
On many of the songs, Chassagne had an EDM-sounding vocal and at times she danced a planned-robot-like choreography. She switched effortlessly from guitar to accordion to keyboards and vocals. The album is deep, cynical and morbid at times but mostly thought-provoking and existential. Stand-out songs include “Put Your Money on Me”, “Electric Blue”, and top catalog tracks.
The set showcased the new sound for AC of electronica and dance even more so than Reflektor (in the past their sound focused on indie rock) and included an extra-terrestrial vibe and sound with stellar green laser lights. The show seemed almost disco at times, with many mirror balls. There were cool videos on the screen. There was plenty of percussion and the drums also rotated. There were layers upon layers of sounds that created a massive richness to the set despite the EDM-esque tracks.
The Butler brothers are doing what they can to help Houston with hurricane relief as they are originally from there (Win attended school in The Woodlands). This is definitely a top show to see this year. The band looks to have a stellar and long career ahead.