Arcade Fire | 04.27.14

AF2014 sqArcade Fire keeps the surprises coming, adding a vibe that is more house party and less stadium rock show.


AF-stage-wide 2014

Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis

Arcade Fire made a stop in St. Louis Sunday night and delivered a dizzying display for their North American “Reflektor” Tour at Chaifetz Arena. As I entered the rear of the arena, the dozen semi-rigs and at least as many tour buses lined up side by side confirmed it was going to be a B-I-G night.

Arcade Fire’s new aesthetic on Reflektor was inspired by the band’s trip to a Port-au-Prince Carnival in Haiti. The inside of the arena was decked out for the party: Some serious thought went into this affair. Fans were dressed in costume and formals, Kid Koala was spinning on his turntables, and palm trees lined the rear next to the satellite stage. The main stage was covered on three sides by shiny metal and mirrored hexagons; the roof lowered, creating a club-like atmosphere; and two sets of video screens on both sides divided into fours, forming honeycomb diamonds symbolizing Reflector’s Haitian veve poster art. It was a feast for the senses, a “had to be there” kinda feeling. (To get a glimpse of what took place, catch the Reflektor Vevo Tour Exposed” video and see for yourself.)

A large, black curtain draped floor to ceiling, blocking the view of the stage, doubled as a backdrop for a video projection screen. It dropped, and the band took the stage, opening with “Here Comes the Night Time.” Moments later, cannons were ablaze, showering fans with thousands of shiny little pieces of confetti periodically throughout the song. As he sang, Win Butler stood atop a monitor in his black Jump Man 23’s and signature black-and-white painted suit. The set list was an ample reflection of the work the band has put out since forming in 2014

Butler is known to be a little vocal about what’s on his mind. As he led into the first encore song, “Normal Person,” he took a moment to dedicate it to the disgraced former Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, and didn’t miss a beat rekindling his beef with Deadmau5. If his words were insufficient to get his point across, there was a man dancing on stage wearing a large, four-sided LED boob-tube headpiece projecting the Akin’s face as well as Deadmau5.

Régine Chassagne performed from the satellite stage in the rear of the stadium for two songs. During “Supersymmetry,” she sported mirrors on her hands, bouncing light back to the main stage that seemingly mirrored Butler across the room. On “It’s Never Over,” she was flanked by a person dressed as a skeleton, creepily mimicking her movements from behind.

To end the nearly two-hour show, Arcade Fire stayed true to form by performing a cover song unique to their host city. The band closed the set with a rendition of Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven,” with Win Butler descending into the audience to dance and hang with fans while brother Will took over on vocals.

This show was big and festive, sonically one of the best I’ve heard in St. Louis to date. Merrill Garbus of the very talented opening act tUnE-yArDs summed up the show best: “Arcade Fire’s Reflektor show is the City Museum of rock ’n’ roll.” | Christopher Renteria





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