hmv.com reviews… Arcade Fire @ British Summer Time
Fresh from a stunning headline set at Glastonbury, Arcade Fire headlined the first night of British Summer Time in Hyde Park last night (July 3rd), but is this the last time we'll ever see them play? We review...
Arcade Fire. The arena filling peddlers of euphoric rock and roll from Montreal/Texas/Haiti, playing the last night of their European run in support of fourth record Reflektor (which you can hear by clicking on the icon on the right-hand side of the page).
Hyde Park, first night of British Summer Time.
Any good supports?
First came Wild Beasts, who brought the best of their silky smoothy indie croon, then came Jake Bugg, who went down superbly with a set that showcased the best from his new record Shangri La as well as a fair few fan favourites from his debut record. He kept the talking to a minimum and rattled through well over 15 songs in his hour-long set.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
Patchy, as you can probably tell by the number of competitions flying around, ticket sales weren't what the organisers had hoped for, it was far from empty though. As for the crowd, they were a little muted to start with, but as the band moved through the gears and started to pur, so did the crowd.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
Clearly conscious that most of the audience would have seen them at either Earls Court or Glastonbury, they varied the set a lot. They initially started with 'Rebellion (Lies)', but jettisoned it quickly in favour of 'Normal Person', they then played 'Rebellion (Lies)' successfully before moving into 'Joan Of Arc' and three wonderful songs from The Suburbs, 'Rococo', 'The Suburbs' and 'Ready To Start'. Later on there was a rare outing for much-loved early track 'Crown Of Love' and Neon Bible highlight 'Intervention'. The show finished superbly with a closing trio of 'Here Comes The Night Time', 'Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)' and a glorious, euphoric 'Wake Up'.
Any good between song banter?
The set began in bizarre fashion, with singer Win Butler, before the band even started their set, told the crowd "For perhaps the last time in London, we're Arcade Fire". He could have been referring the fact it was the last night of their European tour, so the last time we'll see them on this run, but the statement remains quite a definitive one and a hell of a way to start a show.
Butler also clearly wasn't happy about the show's volume, telling the crowd right before 'Here Comes The Nightime', "Shh, don't wake the rich people up", clearly referencing the high profile complaints from the wealthy residents nearby who'd complained about the staging of the festival.
Did they put on much of a show?
It was the full kit and kaboodle, stunning visuals, dancers and, the customary appearance from the band's alter egos The Reflektors with their papier mache heads, who covered The Rolling Stones' Sympathy For The Devil accompanied by a man with a pope's head, that was odd.
What was the highlight of the set?
There were loads, but it was lovely to hear 'Crown Of Love' again.
Where can I catch them next?
They're all done with Europe for this album in all likelihood, but they've still got a big US tour to do in August as well as Fuji Rock Festival. Let's hope Butler just meant for this tour when he said "For the last time"...