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Arcade Fire – CIA, Cardiff

December 12, 2010

Arcade Fire returned to Cardiff after an absence of 3 years, and a rapturous reception.
The last time they performed in the CIA was December of 2007 whilst touring their second full length ‘Neon Bible’, and whilst they were greeted warmly then, they left me feeling cold. This time around nothing could be further from the truth.

The band’s stage set up for the evening consisted of a large video wall mounted above them, on which various looped clips were played, as well as live video of the band themselves. This added to the whole production as it became a more visual performance than most.

The setlist for the night left nothing to be desired, drawing primarily from ‘Funeral’ & The Suburbs’, with the only songs played from ‘Neon Bible’ being No Cars Go (which appeared on their debut EP, anyway), Keep the Car Running and Intervention.
There were many opportunities during the course of the show for crowd participation, with nearly everyone in the building joining in with the “ooooh’s” of various songs.

The thing that I always enjoy most about seeing Arcade Fire is the sheer feverishness of their performance. It would seem if you didn’t know any better that the band is playing like their lives depended on it. You can see it from the band members that are nowhere near a microphone, still screaming the lyrics at the top of their lungs just because they truly love the music that they’re performing.

The frontman of the band, Win Butler, was on form being the chattiest that I have ever seen him. He talked about Wales, and how the picturesque beauty of Wales that he has seen in film has been juxtaposed by seeing franchises of Hooters and TGI Fridays across from tonight’s venue.

Tonight’s show was exciting, and is an example of great live music. With the newfound attention that ‘The Suburbs’ has brought the band, it’s nice to see that they’re still the same little band that could from 2005.

Set List:
Ready to Start
Keep the Car Running
Neighbourhood #2 (Laika)
Sprawl II
Empty Room
Wasted Hours
No Cars Go
We Used to Wait
Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)/Rebellion (Lies)
Month of May
Wake Up

Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)


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