The MEN was filled to the rafters for one of the most important bands of current times. Arcade Fire have somewhat taken their epic army and blasted through towns around the world creating a fan base that has turned the band into a religion.
The band arrived in the spiritual town of Manchester, home of Win Butler’s main influence The Smiths. How fitting then during a big set, frontman Win Butler paid homage to The Smiths by covering ‘Still Ill’. Butler described ” the song that made me want to play music” and then adding “I have been sick and better this year and sick again”.
The big arena tour had the band playing rampantly as ten a piece with a backdrop of neon lights and screen shots of the band and crowd. For the first half of the set, the band ripped eloquently through tracks taken from their second album ‘Neon Bible’. Kicking off with the soulful ‘Black Mirror’. The accordion came out for ‘No Cars’ go which gave the crowd a similar spine tingling feeling as it did when the band played it at Glastonbury earlier this year.
Regine Chassagne on closer inspection seems to underpin the band and is a secret foundation that glues the band together going from different instruments. She also fronted the performance of early EP track ‘I’m Sleeping In A Submarine’
The haunting ’Ocean of Noise’ had the crowd transfixed to the band who oozed so much belief in their performance.
The band also raised the awareness of the charity Partners In Health. “If we can raise one pound per person from each gig we can get better healthcare and housing in poorer countries,” said Butler. “There is 14,000 people here which is fucking amazing”
Arcade Fire then romped through fan favourites ‘Neighborhood # 3 (Power Out)’, ‘Rebellion (Lies)’, ‘Intervention’ and then leaving their mark on Manchester with a-the anthemic ‘Wake Up’.
Looking at the top of the arena down on the crowd there wasn’t a spare seat in the house and Win Butler seemed to be taken a back by the crowds massive response saying “This is easily the biggest fucking crowd we have ever played to inside. It is fucking amazing. Thank you so much.”
Arcade Fire the band has defiantly become Arcade Fire the religion. On tonight’s performance the band has certainly given their disciples a sense of what is real in life.