Reviews in 200 Words

Arcade Fire, The National at Pepsi Coliseum

In Concert on May 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm
Midway through Arcade Fire’s set, Win Butler jokes that opening bands aren’t supposed to be as good as The National. Something about the sound is just a little muffled for the first band, but, nevertheless, The National is good–and yes, better than “opening band” good. This seems to be the tone for the night: less about showing off a perfect sound and more about teaching the audience a thing or two about music and art. It’s like both bands are saying, “watch what can be done with these instruments!” The National flaunts the trumpet and trombone like you’ve never seen–right out front. Arcade Fire rocks two sets of drums, the violin, the keyboard, and on and on. The thing about Arcade Fire that’s remarkable, live, is that they’re rehearsed and flawless but not cookie-cutter. It’s an experience so far beyond listening to their albums that you might think you’ve never heard these songs before. Heightened versions. This show is supposed to be outdoors, and as tornadoes dot the area, Arcade Fire and The National collaborate for “Ocean of Noise,” and it matches the intensity of the weather. 
-Micah Ling


Click here to download this week’s official Beat Jab Podcast. This week Jay Cullis checks out Arcade Fire and their influences (including The E Street Band and Talking Heads).
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