Arcade Fire played two shows in Brooklyn, New York – one on Friday night and one on Saturday.
On the Friday night show [October 18], the band pranked fans by misdirecting them to the wrong stage. Although a stage was set up in the middle of the warehouse space at 299 Meserole in Bushwick, the band played their hour long set on a stage at the side of the venue which was revealed at the last minute. At 9.30pm, James Murphy appeared on stage. Speaking to cheers, he said: “We can only get three members for right now… I’d like to introduce The Reflektors.” Three musicians wearing giant papier-mâché heads then arrived onstage and played an aimless riff for a minute or so.
It soon became apparent that the real stage for the evening was at the side of the venue. Fans swarmed to the barrier on the left hand side of the room as a large black curtain dropped to reveal a large stage upon which were the members of Arcade Fire. The band burst into their recent single “Reflektor”, the chorus sparking off a massive singalong from the crowd, most of whom were in fancy dress.
After playing their second song, “Flashbulb Eyes”, Win Butler said to the crowd: “Everyone good? We’re called The Reflektors. We’re from Montreal. Thank you for coming. You guys look beautiful by the way. We figured we get dressed up every night…”. Later he thanked the crowd again for coming to watch them play in a “sweaty factory”. He also apologised for the stage switch, saying to the fans who climbed onto the ‘fake’ stage after the real one was revealed: “Sorry we played a trick on you. Will you forgive us? We just thought it was funny. It won’t be the last time we do something we think is funny that no-one else does.”
The band played an hour long, 10 song set made up of eight new tracks and two older songs – “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” and “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)“. The latter two songs were introduced as ‘cover versions’ of Arcade Fire songs. The new songs included “Afterlife”, which they debuted last month on Saturday Night Live, and “Here Comes The Night time”, which featured in their Roman Coppola directed television special of the same name, alongside “We Exist” and “Normal Person”. The songs “Joan Of Arc”, “It’s Never Over” and “Flashbulb Eyes” received their live debuts at the gig.
During the show Win Butler addressed the fact that touts were attempting to sell tickets for the sold out show for up to $5,000 online. Addressing the “whole scalper thing” he said: “As I understand it, we sold 1,800 tickets pretty much on the pre-sale, so consider that our $500 dollar gift to you… There could have been a bunch of weird scalper dudes, but I think it was pretty much humanity doing its thing.”
The band played a second show on Saturday [October 19].
Reflektor, Flashbulb Eyes, We Exist, Normal Person, Joan of Arc, It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus), Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains), Afterlife, Neighborhood #3 (Power Out), Here Comes The Night Time
Saturday Set: Reflektor, Flashbulb Eyes, We Exist, Joan of Arc, Normal Person, Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains), Supersymmetry, It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus), Afterlife, Neighborhood #3 (Power Out), Here Comes The Night Time, Haiti