Arcade Fire

The hottest day of the year turned into a beau­ti­ful evening, and at Hyde Park, Arcade Fire gave a tru­ly inspired per­for­mance. No doubt the band were mak­ing sure that this, their last night of the suc­cess­ful Reflek­tor tour, would be one for us, and them, to remember.

Win But­ler was more engag­ing, and more humor­ous, than I was expect­ing – such as his open­ing line ‘For per­haps the last time – Arcade Fire’ – well, I hope that’s a joke. They opened with Nor­mal Per­son, fol­low­ing with Rebel­lion (Lies). The high point for me was the glo­ri­ous Inter­ven­tion. Nat­u­ral­ly the set was pep­pered with num­bers from Reflek­tor, such as my favourite, We Exist. From The Sub­urbs they played Roco­co. Regine Chas­sagne radi­at­ed warmth and ener­gy, shim­mer­ing in a gold ‘reflek­tor’ dress.


The con­cert was­n’t all superla­tives, though this was­n’t the fault of Arcade Fire. The venue does­n’t score high­ly with me – or with plen­ty of oth­ers as I’ve dis­cov­ered. Hyde Park just isn’t the most view­er-friend­ly loca­tion to see a band. For any­one my height, 5ft, it’s tricky being able to see any­thing oth­er than the screens unless you stand quite a long way from the stage, at which point you don’t feel quite so engaged with the per­for­mance, and are bat­tling to hear the band against the talk­ers around you.

The tick­et­ing raised some eye­brows: a com­pa­ny I work for secured a deal to offer tick­ets for BST for £2.50 each, quite a reduc­tion from £66, so that was a pleas­ant sur­prise. Nat­u­ral­ly the offer went viral and it is to the tick­et com­pa­ny’s cred­it that they hon­oured every­one who applied. But it was dif­fi­cult to get away from peo­ple just chat­ting away loud­ly to their friends, pay­ing no atten­tion to the band. If I ever get to be in charge of Hyde Park gigs I’ll divide the are­na into two: those who want to lis­ten to the band, and those who want to talk and take self­ies. Or maybe I just need to light­en up.

Fin­gers crossed Arcade Fire will be back in the stu­dio before long, and return to the UK to tour with a new album.


WHO: Arcade Fire, Jake Bugg, Wild Beasts, Future Islands
WHEN: July 3, 2014
WHERE: Hyde Park, London




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