Arcade Fire have a reputation that exceeds themselves, especially when coming to play in a small country like New Zealand - they're the kind of band that even though you may not know many of their songs, you know that you should just go to their show purely out of a bucketlist-esque need to see a band this talented play live.
I was particularly excited to realise that this, their first festival show of their 'Reflektor' album tour, wasn't entirely 'Reflektor'-based. Don't get me wrong; 'Reflektor' is an incredible album (both David Bowie and St. Vincent can back me up on this), but it was amazing to hear old favourites such as 'Ready To Start' and 'The Suburbs', and tracks like 'No Cars Go' - all the golden oldies as well as a few newer songs too. Considering it was their second time in New Zealand the band didn't really have to play any of their older music, so it was amazing that they did.
The sheer energy this band plays with was really what made their show great - each band member has their own element. From Win Butler at the front, with his unimpressed stare across the crowd and his aberrant talent, to Régine Chassagne with her infallible enthusiasm and constant dancing, none of the artists on-stage could be faltered for their presentation. The award for 'happiest performers at Big Day Out 2014' without a doubt goes to percussionists Diol Edmond and Tiwill Duprate, who spent the entire set smiling from ear to ear and jamming out on the conga drums. You go guys.
Despite the lack of 'formal or costume attire' in the crowd (sorry Arcade Fire), Arcade Fire definitely did exactly what they've always been doing ever since 'Funeral' - playing really good music for hundreds and hundreds of people. It definitely speaks volumes for a band when they can both put on a show and play their music; the music is one thing, but as important as it is a band does need to consider every other element of a show.
Arcade Fire contributed to the show-factor in a number of ways, most notably being the incredible confetti cannon that shot thousands and thousands of little pieces of white and silver paper into the air (I will admit, I did keep some confetti after that just to keep the memory of this band alive). It was probably one of the most aestival things I saw at the Big Day Out; an image of those little silver fluttering pieces of light flowing in the breeze by the thousands is now ingrained in my mind.
Arcade Fire definitely have no problem rocking any type of crowd, be they kiwi or otherwise. The outrageous surreality everyone inevitably experiences when seeing this band is finally apparent to me - it's almost inhuman that one band's music can influence that many people at once to feel exactly the same. Arcade Fire, you have won me over entirely - please come back soon!
Ready To Start
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Joan Of Arc
The Suburbs (Continued)
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
My Body Is A Cage (Alternate shortened version)
Keep The Car Running
Here Comes The Night Time
Previous: BIG DAY OUT 2014 - Part VI - BEADY EYE - click HERE.
Next: BIG DAY OUT 2014 - Part VIII - THE LUMINEERS - click HERE.