Arcade Fire @ Marlay Park, Dublin

Arcade Fire at Marlay Park – June 29th

arcade fire aine Byrne reviewSunday was an absolute scorcher of a day in Dublin for Arcade Fire, in promotion of their 4th studio album ‘Reflektor’, which was released in late 2013 to critical acclaim. Previous albums are still popular pieces of work ‘Funeral’ (2004), ‘Neon Bible’ (2007) and ‘The Suburbs’ (2010) and  of major significance today. Arcade Fire entered the venue after excellent opening performances by Pixies, HamsandwicHand TVVINS.

Win and the ensemble wearing the Reflector heads similar to the U2 bob heads danced and bobbed about – amidst a spectacular, futuristic light show and medley of ‘Wake Up’ and U2 song ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’. There was little time to order a beer, or down a burger – all trips to the nearest portoloo area, cancelled.
Myself and the punters were running around like headless, Reflektor heads, just to get closer to the band, literally.

We found our spots just in time for ‘Normal Person’, their masks removed to reveal simple facial strips with the entire ensemble draped in white with red bird detailing. Moving onto an older song ‘Rebellion’ with the now classic line ‘Every time you close your eyes, oh oh’ – Régine Chassagne, visibly weary from relentless touring, still was a magical performer.

The lighting and costumes for ‘Joan of Arc’ was mind blowing…Win’s heavy vocal and the best drums, synth and guitar work known to sound by Richard Reed Parry, William Butler, Tim Kingsbury (all guitar and multi-instrumentalists) and Jeremy Gara (drums and multi-instrumentals) all is showcased well through on ‘Joan of Arc’. ‘Rococo’ and the magnificent ‘Month of May’ followed, played to perfection.

Everything was perfectly complimented by Chassagne in a venetian mask alongside tour violin player Sarah Neufold. They did little to disappoint, a long section of the set was dedicated to ‘The Suburbs’ album and gave a nod of respect to their comrades Pixies with song ‘Where is My Mind’ followed by ‘Crown of Love’.

‘We Exist’ took us back to the Reflektor material and from this point on we were locked into their vortex, lost in the music with more material from previous album receiving some airtime (Sprawl II – Mountains Beyond Mountains), an album I personally underrated, but highly recommend for further listening.

Exiting the stage after Sprawl II, it couldn’t be over, but they clearly had done their research for Dublin – one of their favourite cities in the world – and returned with a cover of ‘Nothing Compares To You’ and ended with all the best Reflector songs – ‘After Life’, the head spinning  and awesome ‘Here Comes The Night’ and ‘Wake Up’. Epic day and night.

This was the concert of the year!

Set list:

  • Medley (intro) – Wake Up and Where The Streets Have No Name  (U2 song)
  • Normal Person
  • Rebellion (Lies)
  • Joan of Arc
  • Rococo
  • Month of May
  • The Suburbs
  • The Suburbs (Continued)
  • Ready to Start
  • Neighboorhood #1 (Tunnels)
  • (w/ Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?” outro)
  • Crown of Love
  • We Exist
  • Intervention
  • (w/ ‘(Antichrist Television Blues)’ outro)
  • No Cars Go
  • Haïti
  • Reflektor
  • It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus)
  • Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
  • (‘Damian Taylor Remix’ intro)
  • Encore:
  • Nothing Compares 2U (Sinéad O’Connor song)
  • Afterlife (w/ New Order’s “Temptation” snippet)
  • Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
  • Here Comes the Night Time
  • Wake Up

Review by Áine Byrne

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