Monday, January 31, 2005

All the neighbors are starting up a fire/ burning all the old folks, the witches, and the liars...

Someone offered me $100 for my Arcade Fire tickets outside the 9:30 Club, so you know this had officially become Hot Shit. Seeing the way people were going batshit about this almost washed the memory of Metro cars full of fur coats and cowboy hats during inauguration week out of my mind. Almost. Was the show worth $100? I don't think so. Could I have done a lot with that $100? I sure could, and a lot of it would have involved betting on amateur competitive eating. What the offer did was make me want to see the show more, and maybe it set the bar too high. I'm not so good with the reviews, but here's a few thoughts:

First of all, the opener, Final Fantasy? More like Final Fantas-tic! I was surprisingly impressed with a guy who played violin and is writing a nine-song concept album about the nine magics of Dungeons and Dragons. (I may be wrong about if its "magics" or "powers", but you know what? Eat it. I'm not looking it up.) He layered violin part upon violin part using sampler pedals (I'm assuming) and built glorious little melancholy songs.

As for the Fire: They were great. They really were. They sang, they screamed, they jumped around. The guy who looks like Napoleon Dynamite climbed the speakers, some guy in a crash helmet kept climbing up to the stage-side balcony banging on a drum. They broke out accordians, cellos, tamborines, multiple violins, whatever that toy instrument is that's a cross between a kazoo and a keyboard. Regine sang, played accordians, and hit the drums for one song. She also danced like Daryl Hannah's death scene in Blade Runner played in slow motion. They played everything, plus some new stuff. And that was the only problem I had with the show: two new songs back to back kind of let the air out of the room. But they got it back. How could they not, especially after playing "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" into "Rebellion (Lies)"?

And I'm no starfucker, but when they funeral-marched through the audience and made their way right past me on the second floor, I got a little giddy. Just a little bit. And I wore my scarf indoors to fit in. It looked "arty."

For those who want more Fire, and have a access to time machine, they were supposed to do a DJ set at Saint-Ex after the show, "spinning your favorite platters." But that promised to be a mad house. Those of us confined to the cold prison that is the linear, consecutive passage of time can catch them on Conan on Tuesday, where they were asked to fill in for Maroon 5. And late night television is all the better for it.


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