Friday, February 9, 2007

Warming Up to the Arcade Fire

Unique enough how Arcade Fire is going around giving high five to churches, playing 5 consecutive shows in these rare venues across select cities (London, Montreal, New York). But what's more amusing was the decision to offer reward to truly dedicated fans by holding back 50 passes for each show, before the shows in Montreal sold out in four minutes. The question of dedication was brought to fruition when the band took the business of ticket selling back twenty years, to pre-internet days. Meaning, they limited the aforementioned availability to only being purchased the morning of each show at an obscure music store. The store of choice 'L'Oblique' opens at 10am, meaning the first fifty individuals lined up at this time have themselves an intimate evening with the highly acclaimed Arcade Fire. With the hometown band not having played the mtl in over two years, the first night fans quickly showed their yearning for seeing the band by starting a lineup at 3am and the last ticket holder waiting since 7am (on the coldest day of the year). My presence emerges in the tale when I got a call informing me of the procedure and inquiring on my willingness to partake in the freezing cold festivities the second day. Understanding I will shortly feel their presence at Coachella, void of having to wait in -25oC for 5 hours, I hesitated. But, when as convenience would have it, a realization landed that the chosen ticket outlet happened to be only a block from my residence, I committed.

Rolling over at 5:00am, I bundled up, walked a block, found friends already in line and found myself number 35 on the list. Frequently cheating back to the warm confines of my apartment, I still found each minute an hour. With frostbite gently biting the cheeks of strangers, and feet preferring to be chopped off than remain in tact, finally the door opens, its 10AM, tickets!

The Ukrainian Federation (above) is a seated music venue converted out of a church, holding 650 people. Thanks to some nice jockeying we got front row on the balcony, side stage. On its tiny stage, Arcade Fire resembled a glowing flock, with its members crammed in. Straight away, a memorable moment when Win thanked all those who waited outside that morning for tickets, sarcastically stating he wanted to bring awareness to homelessness because it isn't fun. The set list showcased most tracks from the new LP, 'Keep the Car Running' and 'My Body is a Cage' stood brilliant live. Highlight of the evening came with a loud and energetic performance of 'Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)', than without hesitation kicking into 'Rebellion (Lies)'.

As I trudged home from the show I observed a strange sighting, in the dark I faintly made out the shadow of a person waiting out front of a store a block from my house. Could it be...brave ones gearing up for a long cold night ahead in trade-off for what I was coming from, 90 minutes of a rare opportunity, witnessing a rightfully acclaimed act sing and praise a new bible, a 'neon bible'. (lol)

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