Posts tagged ‘Gigs’

November 20, 2007

Fire at the Palace

“I’m going to relentlessly ride your arse until you have a good time”, Win Butler remarked, during the early stages of Arcade Fire’s slow burning set at Alexandra Palace on Sunday Night. 

On a cold and wet November evening in North London this is just what the Canadian 10 piece had to do.  Performing in the imposing Victorian Palace on the top of windsept Muswell Hill was all always going to be draped in isolated grandeur, and so it transpired.   The stage was wonderfully lit in blue neon, with several small oval screens scattered amongst the band.  At the front were vertical fluorescent tubes protruding up from the stage, strangely resembling a row of light sabres. 

The band were in the barrel end of a very long tour, but displayed a desire and ambition to give the crowd a typically engaged experience.  Interspersing their songs with fanatical rants on religion and money – displayed on the small monitors – the set gathered pace like a political rally, slowly winding itself up to seduce the viewer into emotional and physical com-pliancy.  Much of their opening was garnered from second album ‘Neon Bible’, while the set lost momentum with ‘My Body is a Cage’ – normally a brooding set highlight – this time rendered useless with Win Butler’s mic turned off.

By the end though the crowd were entranced by the whole experience.  ‘Rebillion’ expressed jubilation amongst the thronging crowd while ‘Wake up’ nearly lifted the roof of the Palace.  The walk back down the hill seemed a whole lot more purposeful than walking up.