Arcade Fire at Wembley Arena
The first of three shows comprising the Everything Now tour in London is a night full of surprises. Nine months after their electrifying album launch at York Hall, Arcade Fire are taking a short residence in Wembley to promote their latest record.
The concert is the arena-sized evolution of what we saw in East London last year: the stage is transformed into a boxing ring – set in the middle of the venue – from which the American-Canadian band plays, turning to different sides song by song.
Win Butler, Régine Chassagne and co are presented like boxers in true sports broadcast fashion, with their titles and stats on display across the screens. The performance begins with lead single Everything Now – which is also by far the most convincing track from the eponymous album – and continues with the ensemble’s alt-rock hymn Rebellion (Lies).
The light show is nothing short of spectacular; parallel beams reproduce the ropes on a grander scale, conveying the illusion of an even bigger ring. On top of running around the stage, Butler and Chassagne would enter into the crowd to sing and dance together with their fans.
Half an hour into the concert, the Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde joins the band for a spicy and profound cover of Don’t Get Me Wrong. Arcade Fire express their praise for the English-American rockers, who have been a major source of inspiration for their music; they also pay tribute to the city of London which, by their own admission, is where they have played the most. It shouldn’t surprise, then, that they have three sold-out shows at Wembley Arena, and a packed audience singing out loud every lyric of every song.
The gig continues mixing new and older hits, including Ready to Start – which sets the North London venue on fire – Intervention, The Suburbs and Reflektor. The set ends on a high with a mighty rendition of Neighborhood #3 (Power Out). Of the newer material – which tends to be repetitive and not nearly as good as the band’s first three albums – Everything Now and We Don’t Deserve Love are the true highlights.
Wake Up, the group’s traditional closing number – played with the Nationals’ Bryce Dessner, Hynde and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band – concludes yet another brilliant performance from Arcade Fire.
Photos: Ruth Medjber / Filippo L’Astorina
For further information and future events visit Arcade Fire’s website here.
Watch the mashup video Money + Love here: