Posted in music | pictures on August 11, 2010

photos by Josh Darr

Arcade Fire

"With Soundgarden grinding out giant slabs of sludgy metal on one end of Grant Park in Chicago, Arcade Fire closed out Lollapalooza with an epic batch of songs from their three critically-acclaimed albums. While they didn't have any costume changes (as Lady Gaga did) or T-shirt cannons (which Green Day had), they still managed to pack a tremendous amount of drama into their set.

For Arcade Fire, it's all in the songs, which use an eclectic combination of instruments (chiming guitars, humming organs, languid strings, ramshackle percussion) to stack bits of melody on top of each other and create a head-spinning swirl of quiet moments, crescendos, comedowns and climaxes. There's a distinct possibility that Arcade Fire are the best band in the world right now, and they do it with exquisite songwriting and passionate commitment.

And sweat. Lots and lots of sweat." [MTV]

Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" is officially #1 on the Billboard 200 with 156,000 sold. More pictures and the setlist from their Sunday set at Lollapalooza, below...

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire Concert at Lollapalooza, Chicago, IL, USA Setlist on August 8, 2010
1. Ready to Start
2. Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
3. No Cars Go
4. Haïti
5. Empty Room
6. Rococo
7. The Suburbs
8. Intervention
9. Crown of Love (Win dedicated it to The National)
10. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
11. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
12. We Used to Wait
13. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
14. Rebellion (Lies)
15. Month of May
16. Keep the Car Running
Encore:
17. Wake Up

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Comments (65)

Someone's hair is thinning a bit

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 12:41 PM

They're as hard on the eyes as they are on the ears.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 12:41 PM


Boche is stoked

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 12:42 PM

Soundgarden >>>>>>>>> Arcade Fire, but it was really dump to have these 2 on at the same time

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 12:43 PM

er... *dumb

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 12:43 PM

Win Butler = Jason Vorhees without a mask

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 12:44 PM

can someone please confirm if there was a fart in the pit during the beginning of "intervention"

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 12:55 PM

12:44 - win (no pun intended)

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 12:57 PM

boring drama queens are overrated

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 1:02 PM

you know things are bad when arcade fire is regarded as one of the best bands in the world.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 1:03 PM

they played at the same time, and people went to see Arcade Fire instead of Soundgarden?

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 1:05 PM

His hair isn't thinning, half of is is shaved off.

Posted by Ana | August 11, 2010 1:08 PM

other half is thinning. cure = more hummus

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 1:12 PM

haters, the album is amazing, the live show is even better, sit at home being angry at the world and posting on brooklyn vegan is sad.

peace bitches

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 1:15 PM

Question: Whenever a woman wears the same clothes to perform, people jump on here and make comments saying "hey xxxx wore that outfit in Chicago...hahaha..." etc, but when a guy does it, nobody says anything. Why is that?

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 1:16 PM

1:16
women are objects.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 1:19 PM

Stop being so dramatic about everything BUT the music and just listen TO the music. It's good.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 1:21 PM

The music is good, the live show is very good. The reason people are complaining in this particular case is the fact that they are extremely overrated.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 1:28 PM

Congrats to Merge for sure.. they deserve it

Arcade Fire are a good band...not a great one but few are anymore...

I can't even think of who had top ten records when I was in high school... kids have a lot more options and accessibility to good music these days and after all number 1 records are really about the "kids" buying things

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 1:33 PM

Arcade Fire getting to #1 is a little disingenuous as it was helped to the top by a slashed-price download at Amazon, which Merge hyped on Twitter. $3.99 for a hotly anticipated album by a wildly popular band will of course help them get to the top. This is no different than supermarkets in the UK slashing single prices to 19 pence to gouge mom & pop chains who have to sell them at full price, which the supermarkets can afford only because of mondo kickbacks from record companies, resulting in crazy chart positions for the cut-price records. This just shows the holistic indie universe is not immune to business-world scheming.

Posted by LKJ | August 11, 2010 2:15 PM

I think that there is something really amazing about a band on Merge having the #1 record in the country, i'm sorry, that's a good thing, whatever you think of Arcade Fire!

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 2:17 PM

I over cooked my chickpeas last night and nearly had a Hummus Fire.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 2:18 PM

"I think that there is something really amazing about a band on Merge having the #1 record in the country, i'm sorry, that's a good thing, whatever you think of Arcade Fire!"

amazing, in theory. BUT, you must consider that soundscan is the key metric, not billboard. AND, it certainly comes with an asterisk at that 2.99/3.99 price point.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 2:31 PM

@2:17 - You're right, it's a very good thing.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 2:33 PM

we're ignoring the issues here people.

someone farted during their lollapalooza set, AGAIN, at the beginning of "intervention".

perhaps this is a stunt staged by the band in an effort to raise flatulence awareness... do discuss.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 2:36 PM

It's amazing that some of you are deriding a band for offering their music for an inexpensive price point!

Should one assume that you hopped in your Jeep Wrangler and drove down to the local shopping mall and paid $18.99 for it?

Cunts, the lot of you!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 2:52 PM

NINETEEEEEEEZ

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 2:56 PM

damn arcade fire and their cut throat business tactic of making an album too affordable. You're no Ralph Nader LKJ. Wait- are you LeBron King James?

Posted by Ed | August 11, 2010 2:57 PM

"Price point"!? Whatever. This is good for the band, the fans, and the label. Don't you know that the major labels do the same damn thing (and buy up stock to increase their numbers) All that matters is the music. It sounds like a lot of people like Arcade Fire. Good for them!

On a side note, BV, can you please censor the word "hummus" or block that poster's I.P. address. He/She is quite possibly the most annoying troll ever - I know that I am not the first to bring this up.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 3:02 PM

A little hummus with fresh pita would calm you down bro.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 3:20 PM

Thank you, 3:02. I hate this hummus stuff. While we're at it, can we also block "Meh", "I'd hit it," etc.?

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 3:26 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there's not a single moment of brilliance, inspiration, subtlety or originality on Suburbs. The praise and sales seem disproportionate to what the band has actually created. I used to expect more from this band but after Neon Bible, this seems about right.

Posted by we were already bored | August 11, 2010 3:30 PM

2:52 Nowhere did I "deride the band." Tell me where I did that. I explained that the record company utilized a low price point, well below suggested list retail price, to effect a high chart position. I guess this makes me a "cunt."

Reading comprehension, critical thinking, etc.

Posted by LKJ | August 11, 2010 3:32 PM

I don't understand all this hummus hatred going on... It's a wonderful food that has been around for at least 4000 years and I would bet that most of the bands you listen to enjoy hummus as well. I know for a fact that wavves and polyphonic spree always have large containers backstage and eat it with gusto prior to every performance.
It's rumored that the phyto-nutrients in chickpeas allow for more stamina for hip thrusts and other related rock and roll dance moves. Iggy pop swears by it...

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 3:34 PM

f*ck the ninetees. eighties were better

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 3:37 PM

Elvis had a bowl prior to his legendary hip thrusting moment on the Ed Sullivan show as well.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 3:37 PM

Ed: My comments have nothing to do with the affordability of the album for fans who chose to download it for $3.99.

The headline of the article reads, in part, "Got the #1 Spot on the Billboard Chart," and I am providing some insight as to how that may have happened. Merge enacted a marketing campaign geared toward making The Suburbs the #1 album. It did not get there by the sheer truth and beauty of indie forthrightness.

If you want Ralph Nader, I don't think hanging around BV comments will get you what you want.

Posted by LKJ | August 11, 2010 3:38 PM

And, in closing, analysis of a marketing campaign--even if that analysis reveals a business scheme--does not have anything to do with whether or not the band and/or album is good or bad. I bought the damn thing myself, you dimwits.

Posted by LKJ | August 11, 2010 3:40 PM

To those on the march about this being such a "very good thing," did you feel the same way when Vampire Weekend went to #1? After all, they're both indie bands, no? What is the point of your approval of, and excitement over, AF's chart position? Is it just that you like the band, or is it something larger than that? Why is this not viewed as a "sellout," which was the charge leveraged against VW when they hit #1, especially considering that Merge practically gave the album away? What does a #1 album symbolize to you? Is this a victory over something that you feel needs to be vanquished? I know you people have opinions, let's hear them articulated.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 3:48 PM

Here is my articulated opinion- Arcade Fire Sucks.

They got to the point they are because of clever marketing tactics and a population that has ear wax blocking entrance to their audio receptors in their brain.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 4:02 PM

3:48, I hear you. Personally, I would feel proud of an Arcade Fire #1 Billboard spot if the album was legitimately great and not a cheap product of manufactured hype and fawning "critics." At this point, PFork appears to be another arm of the industry which, incidentally, isn't really all that indie anymore. So basically, I'm not proud so much as disappointed and depressed at the state of music. "Indie" is slowly becoming the new status quo.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 4:05 PM

Suck it, haters. Go cry in your fart-filled bedroom.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 4:14 PM

fart-filled bedroom.

brilliant.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 4:23 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there's not a single moment of brilliance, inspiration, subtlety or originality on Suburbs. The praise and sales seem disproportionate to what the band has actually created. I used to expect more from this band but after Neon Bible, this seems about right

true

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 4:23 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there's not a single moment of brilliance, inspiration, subtlety or originality on Suburbs. The praise and sales seem disproportionate to what the band has actually created. I used to expect more from this band but after Neon Bible, this seems about right

false

Posted by Ed | August 11, 2010 4:32 PM

album sales aren't cool until you start selling a bunch of (very cheap) records.

doesn't make the music any better/worse.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 4:40 PM

Soundgarden blows moose penis.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 4:44 PM

@4:05

You're just realizing that about Pitchfork now???

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 6:00 PM

BV has the best fucking comments section! ha ha - i read this thing like a comedy script whilst i'm kicking back with a fat bowl of hummus and a blunt ;)

peace, hipsters.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 8:06 PM

@3:26

Get rid of "meh" and "i'd hit it"? These are basic human reactions. You seem kind of bland; you'd probably love this new snack called hummus.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 8:45 PM

bad pictures. please send a photographer with more than a point & shoot camera next time.

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2010 9:11 PM

The point that the guy from Standard & Poor's is trying to make is that quantity is being confused with quality. That asshole's right, by the way: just because Arcade Fire reached #1 on the Billboard chart - of which there are over 550! - doesn't make the album any good. It's a bit like when sports stars thank God for winning a championship - where were your thanks to The Lord Your God all those times you flat-out fucking lost? So it is with Merge and their decidedly mainstream sleight-of-hand that isn't so much magic as it is turning piss into gold.

"#1 on the Billboard chart" is a nice bit of trivia, but that's all it ever is.

Posted by Crosseyed Sniper | August 12, 2010 5:56 AM

you guys are exactly what arcade fire is talking about in Rococo. IT'S KIND OF PATHETIC....

Posted by Anonymous | August 12, 2010 11:05 AM

Actually 11:05, you are. I'm thinking of the line, "They will eat right out of your hand..."

Sometimes they deserve to be burned down. The more I listen to Suburbs, the more it seems to mimic the very emptiness it hoped to dissect.

Posted by Anonymous | August 12, 2010 11:39 AM

LOL, 11:05 and 11:39 are both douches for claiming each one is "who the band is talking about" in one of their songs.

Posted by Anonymous | August 12, 2010 12:20 PM

TAAAAAACCCCCCCCOOOOOOOOO PEEEOOOOOOOPPPLLLLE

Posted by Anonymous | August 12, 2010 1:12 PM

@8:45: I'm not bland, but i get fucking sick of reading "I'd hit it" about every remotely attractive woman. And "meh" is so played out. Well-written criticism is good. Any meathead can type "meh" in a band name just to be stupid.

Posted by Anonymous | August 12, 2010 1:21 PM

Okay gang, gotta concede that Merge gamed the system. It was Amazon that chose to lowball the price. See below:

"But "The Suburbs" certainly raked in the digital sales. Although SoundScan doesn't break down digital sales by retailer, a whopping 97,000 digital copies of "The Suburbs" were purchased. Many will certainly draw the same conclusion as Billboard, noting that "The Suburbs" surely benefited from a week-long promotion at Amazon.com, which sold the album for $3.99. Such low-priced offers are nothing new for Amazon, and acts as big as U2 have been sold by the online retailer at that price point.

"Unfortunately, that’s not up to us," Ballance said of Amazon's decision to lowball the price of "The Suburbs." Yet it certainly raises concerns about the value of the album, and what consumers will view "as a reasonable price.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2010/08/merge-cofounder-on-arcade-fires-no-1-debut-the-whole-chart-thing-is-kind-of-like-sports.html

Posted by LKJ | August 12, 2010 1:26 PM

Dammit, I meant "gotta concede that Merge DID NOT game the system" on my previous comment.

Posted by LKJ | August 12, 2010 1:27 PM

So Merge gamed the system then? OK, got it.

Posted by Anonymous | August 12, 2010 1:58 PM

LeBron King James is now so despised, the only endorsement he can rustle up is for hummus.

Posted by Ed | August 12, 2010 2:06 PM

I think that you get free hummus with the new CD.

Posted by Anonymous | August 12, 2010 6:03 PM

saw win butler's face in a plate of hummus at el beit!!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | August 12, 2010 8:05 PM

I think Arcade Fire is the lucky recipient of a jaded public's starvation for meaning in the music ... and hunger for just a great rock band in the age of R&B ...

Arcade Fire seems to be the least of all evils, and therefore has been elevated by groupthink to the sperm that made it to the proverbial egg ...

The reality, I fear, is that they are a band that would be lost amid truly great acts which there just don't seem to be right now ...

The sonic trend is toward lush, atmospheric, amorphous construction ala Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear et al ...

But the originality, soul and what I call "sing-along-ability" are low currently in this genre ... not to mention a little testosterone ... even Alanis Morrisette could bring the testoterone!

It is just a phase as everything is, and I think their popularity, while irritating to more discerning and mature listeners, actually represents a window of opportunity for the next truly great rock act to emerge as the genre is on life support ...

One can hope that time and competition act quickly to displace the best we can get right now for simply the best ...

Posted by johnnyk | October 6, 2010 9:19 PM

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