Arcade Fire’s ready for Chicago. Are you ready for them?
Arcade Fire’s latest album is arguably the best of 2010, and many musicians and critics alike agree. They picked up the coveted Grammy for ‘Album of the Year’ and also won a BRIT award for best international album of 2010. Not too shabby for the lads from Montreal, Canada. The band is made up of husband and wife duo of Win Butler and Régine Chassagne. The band also features Will Butler, Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury, Jeremy Gara, and Sarah Neufeld. Arcade Fire first found success when they released their freshman album ‘Funeral’ in 2004 and received positive feedback. The large band uses all sorts of instruments like guitar, drums, bass guitar, piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboard, French horn, accordion, harp, mandolin, and hurdy-gurdy. Almost all of their instruments are taken on tour, and the multi-instrumentalist band members switch duties throughout shows, which makes for quite an unique, live experience. Their live show is quite a spectacle because of all the members and instruments. The group has been playing shows probably as much as Robin Hood stole from the rich to feed the poor. To support their second album they played over an entire year of shows, which totaled up to 122, including 33 festivals, in 75 cities and 19 countries. And now Chicagoans can catch them three nights at UIC Pavilion on April 22, 24 & 25. Not too many bands have close to this number of members, and for them to play all different instruments well is very impressive, and quite a rarity in this day and age of auto tune and lip-syncing. It’s refreshing to have a band come out there and be true musicians. It’s nice to know they’re still around. Their third studio album ‘The Suburbs’ got numerous critical acclaim along with the awards they won from it. It is often said that bands really hit their stride on their third album, and Arcade Fire has proved this theory correct. It has sold more than their previous two, gained way more attention, and won the awards every band wants to win when they make an album. To be honest I found their first two albums easy music to fall asleep to, but this album it keeps me awake, and is pretty good. I think the best song is the single named after the album “The Suburbs.” It’s pretty dreamy like their older stuff, but yet maintains an honest pop-sensibility that feels as refreshing as a cold glass of lemonade during a July afternoon at a Cubs verses White Soxgame. Go and see why Arcade Fire won Album of the year. It should be a show to remember.
Photo Credit: Eric Kayne/Press handout