Arcade Fire at 1STBANK Center, 4/9/11
Arcade Fire singer Win Butler last night. See full slide show from last night.
Photo: Brandon Marshall
The trailer for the 1979 film Over the Edge, which featured a fourteen-year-old Matt Dillon in his film debut, played on the screen behind the stage at 1STBANK Center just before Arcade Fire came on Saturday night. The film, which was supposedly shot in Aurora and Greeley, has been hailed as the "greatest teen rebellion movie of all time" by Vice magazine and was apparently the inspiration for Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video.
While Arcade Fire's show didn't incite any teenage riots, the Montreal-based eight-piece did get a predominantly younger crowd fired up with an hour-and-a-half-long set drawing from the band's latest release, The Suburbs, and its previous albums, Funeral and Neon Bible. Kicking off the show with the propulsive "Ready to Start," Arcade Fire kept the momentum driving through "Keep the Car Running" with frontman Win Butler playing mandolin.
After the tom-heavy "Neighborhood #2 (Laika)," Butler said, "We couldn't decide whether to say Denver or Boulder, so I'll just say suburban Denver. We were driving here, and we were about halfway, and we were like, 'Wait a minute. Are we on the outskirts of Montréal? Where the hell are we?'"
It was the band's third visit to Colorado since first playing to a few hundred folks at the Larimer Lounge in 2004 and then headlining Red Rocks three years later. With a good portion of 1STBANK Center filled up, the band delivered a performance that wasn't quite as epic as its Red Rocks date but still delved into a powerful set, fueled by its superb handle on dynamics, where the musicians can take a subtle section of tune and just inject a jolt of energy into it.
(Review continues with set list on the next page.)
While the cuts from The Suburbs, which just won a Grammy for Album of the Year, packed a lot of punch, the tune from Funeral near the end of the set might have been more energetic. "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" and "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" were equally remarkable, but "Wake Up" was completely epic. A sea of arms went up on the floor, and it seemed like nearly everyone in the place was humming along. It's easy to see why the song was played just before U2's shows on its Vertigo tour.
The only thing was that Arcade Fire should have saved "Wake Up" for the last song of the encore. Sure "Month of May," probably the most rocking song of the night, and "Rebellion (Lies)" were great tunes for the encore, but the band could have really ridden it out on "Wake Up."
CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK Personal Bias: It's great to see eight people, all smiling throughout most of the show, doing something they really love. Random Detail: Danny Pudi, who plays Abed Nadir on the NBC TV series Community, was at the show.
By the Way: Los Angeles-based Local Natives delivered a really good set fueled by some great vocal harmonies and dual tom drums. "Who Knows Who Cares," which was inspired by a previous trip to Colorado, was a highlight, as was "Sun Hands." The band was taking a break from working on its second album to play a few dates with Arcade Fire.
Arcade Fire 04.09.11 | 1STBANK Center Broomfield, Colorado
Ready to Start Keep the Car Running Modern Man Neighborhood #2 (Laika) No Cars Go Haiti Empty Room Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) Rococo Intervention - organ into The Suburbs The Suburbs (continued) Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) We Used to Wait - (post cards letters) Wake Up
Month of May Rebellion (Lies)
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Denver, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.