August 17, 2010

Arcade Fire w/ Spoon, Merriweather Post, August 6, 2010

Rock Titans or Specialists in Ironic Venue Choice?

It's hard to believe that only a couple weeks ago did indie powerhouse Arcade Fire drop their long-awaited third LP, The Suburbs.  The band has been releasing dribs and drabs of it for months prior (we even covered it), so it's no wonder the album almost feels old at this point.  But they brought The Suburbs to the suburbs last week in Columbia, MD.  Not only did they bring their awesome stage show, but they were kind enough to put everyone's favorite underdog Spoon on the bill as well.  Boo ya.

Spoon redeemed themselves, in my eyes, at this show: Britt brought energy, the band was sharp, and they had a kicking horn section.  Nothing at all wrong with their performance, attitude, or level of awesometude.  An abbreviated set-time forced them to cram ten pounds into a five-pound bag, however, and made the set somewhat of a blur.

Then Arcade Fire came out swinging and never looked back.  While they opened with a one-two punch from the new record, they laid on the classics fairly thick.  Several Neighborhoods from Funeral and the peppier books from Neon Bible were all on the setlist, and all played superbly.  One particularly good stretch in the set took us from Sprawl II, to the Suburbs, to Modern Man, to Rococo.  While it was clear the majority of the fans in attendance were less familiar with the newer material, the band was no less familiar with performing them.  In only one song did the band fail to deliver (Half Light II has a tricky drum machine, apparently).

Bottom line: the Arcade Fire is one of those bands you really must see.  Their energy and clear belief in their songs and performances inspire even the bros.  See some pics, the scorecard and the setlist below.

1.            Ready to Start
2.            Month of May
3.            Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
4.            The Well and the Lighthouse
5.            Half Light II (No Celebration) - Partial
6.            Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
7.            No Cars Go
8.            Ha├»ti
9.            Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
10.          The Suburbs
11.          The Suburbs (Continued)
12.          Modern Man
13.          Rococo
14.          Intervention
15.          We Used to Wait
16.          Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
17.          Rebellion (Lies)
18.          Keep the Car Running
19.          Wake Up

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