Posted in music | pictures on August 25, 2014

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin, words by Andrew Sacher

Arcade Fire @ Barclays Center - 8/24/14
AF
Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire completed the three-night Barclays Center run of their current tour last night (8/24). Like the first two, Dan Deacon and the reunited Unicorns opened, but this one was extra special because it also included an opening set from New York's legendary Television.

The Unicorns kicked things off early at 7:15 PM, and unfortunately the soon-to-be-filled venue was mostly empty for them, but this rare set (one of six dates they're playing this year) was a treat for those in attendance. They mostly stuck to material from their classic Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?, and despite Nick Diamonds and Alden Penner's more "serious" recent projects, they retained all the quirk from their Unicorns days for this show. Alden and Nick both ran around on stage, cracked jokes ("Some people have told us now that they've finally seen us they can die happy ... that is very accurate"), and seemed to be having a genuinely good time on stage playing those old songs. We certainly had a good time hearing them.

Television followed with an excellent set that included half of the classic Marquee Moon ("See No Evil," "Prove It," "Torn Curtain" and it's sprawling title track), but was more of a jammy psychedelic trip than a rehashing of old favorites. The band, whose lineup is 3/4 of the one that recorded Marquee Moon (Jimmy Rip in place of Richard Lloyd), are now almost 40 years past the release of that album and they don't perform all that frequently, but they were dead on last night. The interlocking guitar solos went on endlessly without dragging, and the rhythm section was locked in for all those jams. As improvisational as some of it sounded, parts like the ending of the instrumental break on "Marquee Moon" were exactly like the album. It was as powerful blasting from the stage at Barclays Center as it was the first time you heard it on record.

Immediately after Television's set, Dan Deacon got started on the small stage on the opposite end of the floor, hosting a huge dance competition on Barclays Center's ground floor which ended with the whole floor dancing. A second dance competition was then framed as a battle between Brooklyn DIY venue Death by Audio and NYC print-only show listings publication Showpaper. This was the second recent show we've attended that a now-big act playing to a lot of people in NYC gave props to Death by Audio from the stage (the last was Future Islands). Also spotted dancing in the crowd to Dan Deacon was fellow bald, bearded indie music maker Tim Harrington of Les Savy Fav (Dan thanked him at the end). Dan's set was both a fun/funny activity for the crowd and an entertaining precursor to what was to follow.

Arcade Fire then took the stage at 9:30 for a 2-hour set (encore included) which was all thrills. At least in the world of music blogs and music twitter, Arcade Fire have gotten more than a little criticism for the last year or so of their career, which has included an elongated album rollout, lots of costumes, cover songs, and other gimmicks. But last night's show was such a truly good time, you'd have to be bitterly cynical to have been there and felt otherwise. Yes, it is a huge spectacle built for the huge venues they now typically play (this was their third arena show of the weekend in Brooklyn, and all three were full), but they do it without falling into bombast.

One of Arcade Fire's first NYC shows was ten years ago at the tiny Mercury Lounge (October 2004 to be exact). Core members Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, Richard Reed Parry, William Butler, Jeremy Gara, Tim Kingsbury, and Sarah Neufeld were all on stage that night, and impressively they're all still there ten years later. This time around they're joined by multiple other musicians (including sax genius Colin Stetson who you can catch in a more intimate environment at Baby's All Right TONIGHT (8/25)), a few people in paper mache bobblehead masks, dancers, confetti, and an elaborate light show, but they make it all unmistakably their own. The Arcade Fire of 2004 may not have written the dance-heavy "Reflektor" or "Sprawl II," but when the Arcade Fire of 2014 plays them right next to "Rebellion (Lies)" and "No Cars Go," nothing sounds out of place. The setlist was heaviest on Reflektor and lightest on Neon Bible, but it mostly felt like a very well curated collection of the many sounds Arcade Fire have made over the years, each song flowing perfectly into the next.

You know by now that Arcade Fire have been doing location-specific covers on this whole tour, and with NY Dolls' David Johansen (as Buster Poindexter) joining them for a cover of "Hot Hot Hot" on Friday, followed by Marky Ramone joining for two Ramones songs on Saturday, and Television opening last night's show (not to mention Deborah Harry joining them at Coachella), it seemed like a pretty good bet that they'd keep the CBGB theme going for this final show. And they did. But Television, though their opening set fit the theme, did not end up being the guest. Win Butler, like Dan Deacon before him, did point out how amazing it was to play with Television though. In fact, Win said last night's show was the best lineup of bands they ever played with at one show.

Arcade Fire & David Byrne
Arcade Fire

The CBGB-themed cover ended up being Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream," after a fake-out of LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends" playing through the PA as The Reflektors mimed the song from the smaller stage at the back of the floor. Nobody from Suicide joined them for this one, but they brought out Talking Head David Byrne (who was also on stage with Arcade Fire almost ten years ago) to sing guest vocals, complete with white face makeup on. It seemed like a good bet that David would be joining them when we heard he was spotted in the building, and we're pretty sure he was even out dancing in a mask to Dan Deacon. (There was a rumor they'd be covering Bruce Springsteen after someone got a hold of the setlist early, uploaded it to setlist.fm, and must have mistakenly not realized Bruce's recording of that song is in fact a Suicide cover.)

"Dream Baby Dream" segued into "Here Comes the Night Time," followed by "Normal Person" (which included Win singing "New York I love you, but you're bringing me down" over the intro, further teasing those of us who were hoping for a James Murphy cameo), and then the show ended with the longest-ever version of "Wake Up." Even after the song's huge ending and the crowd's applause, Win started singing the "whoa-oh, whoa-oh-oh-oh" part again as he and the band walked off stage, then the horn players joined back in, and the whole band proceeded to leave the stage in marching band fashion (the same way they had entered the venue 2 hours earlier) playing the song even once the PA was turned off until they fully exited the room.

Pictures of the third and final night are in this post (though unfortunately none of the openers this time). Saturday pictures HERE. Friday pictures HERE. More from Sunday, with a video of the Suicide cover and AF's setlist, below...

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Unicorns...

Arcade Fire

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Arcade Fire & David Byrne - "Dream Baby Dream" (Suicide cover)

SETLIST
Reflektor

Flashbulb Eyes
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Rebellion (Lies)
Joan of Arc
Rococo
The Suburbs
Ready to Start
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
We Exist
My Body Is A Cage / No Cars Go
Haïti
Afterlife
It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)

Encore:
Dream Baby Dream (Suicide cover) / Here Comes the Night Time
Normal Person
Wake Up

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Comments (90)

I thought Dream Baby Dream was a Hermins Hermits song?

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:09 PM

Wow David Bryne looks pasty..What a waste of his appearance..couldn't they do psycho killer?

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:14 PM

According to Dan Deacon's instagram DB was in the circle for the dance off in a mask.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:20 PM

Dream Baby Dream was written in the Brill Building for Pickwick Records back in the mid '60s, then Suicide copped it and stole the credit for it. It's only right that Springsteen did the same with this generation of listeners. Wait until you hear the Blood Orange version though (you heard it here first).

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:21 PM

Televison sounded like a garbled mess where I was sitting.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:22 PM

Interpol playing Bowery on 9/4.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:22 PM

David Byrne is about 5 minutes away from appearing at car dealership openings in Levittown

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:23 PM

Why no pics of openers?

Posted by ME | August 25, 2014 12:25 PM

David Byrne (without mask) was quietly enjoying the AF set int eh back of GA. Then disappeared to go get his hair and make-up done.

All the members of AF (didn't see Regine though) also watched the unicorns and Television from the back of GA. Michael Cera and Spike Jonze, among others were hanging out with them, too.

I thought it was cool that they were just trying to be normal people and take in a show. A few people bothered them for pictures/handshakes and Win was the only one who seemingly got annoyed (he was wearing a cloth thing over his face that just had holes for eyes, but when you're as tall as he is, standing with the rest of the band, it's kind of hard for him to hide). Like he'd pose and then would immediately switch locations.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:26 PM

Did they play Wake Up?

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:31 PM

^ They closed with ti all three nights.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:35 PM

OMG I FUCKING HATE THESE ASS CLOWNS

AND THAT BAND THEY LIKE IS TOTAL BULLSHIT

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:38 PM

lots of bros in aeropostale tee's up towards the front of GA and a disappointing lack of costumes.

also some dude next to me complaining to his girlfriend about "who the fuck are" the Unicorns and Television probably deserved to be kicked out and maybe banned from concerts for life.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:41 PM

Day 1 pics were best. Day 3 second best. Day 2 worst.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:42 PM

this tour has been more about "who's gonna show up tonight" than the band - can't say i blame people for getting distracted by the hype

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:43 PM

Byrne managed to make himself even whiter than normal. Bravo!

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:44 PM

Tiny Dicks as far as the eye can see.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:44 PM

Thanks for the Interpol Bowery info got tickets!!

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:46 PM

12:44 I am 10" but you probably couldn't see mine as I was sitting in the 200 section

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:48 PM

Bowery is now sold out. That was fast.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:52 PM

Hipster nonsense paying respect to the real music of yesteryear. Sorta sad.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:58 PM

@12:52 there might be a few still hanging around. It initially told me they weren't available, but they're popping up now.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:59 PM

Now had they actually had Suicide up there that would have really been something. Missed opportunity.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:59 PM

^12:48, yeeeeeah...that ith thmall...I wath not expecting you to thay anything leth than 10 or 11 incheth.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 1:05 PM

Shucks... I thought a 7.5 was considered large

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 1:09 PM

@12:59, I love Suicide but having seen them recently and having seen David Byrne recently, there's no question David Byrne puts on a better show.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 1:14 PM

hummus

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 1:21 PM

1238 Between using all caps and using the idiotic term ass clowns you come off like a real moron.
The show was awesome, the sound in the ga was perfect, Mr Byrne joining on Dream Baby Dream was fantastic but Dan Deacon is pathetically bad.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 1:23 PM

Did somebody say hummus?

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 1:26 PM

secret after show at 285 suxxxx you all missed it

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 1:32 PM

Taking a photo with Win Butler? Go fuck yourself... leave people alone to watch a fucking concert. You are not special. No one cares that you took a photo with a celebrity.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 1:34 PM

Win Butler = Gerard Way circa 2006

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 1:43 PM

I was surprised at how good this show was. I bought Groupon tix in the lower level for $40. The sound and visuals were very good. I like AF but am not a huge fan, especially of the last release, so I wasn't going to go to this show because I figured they would play a lot from it. They did but hit all the good earlier stuff, and it was fun to see Television. Very glad I went.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 1:50 PM

@12:43 - People were there for the band, not for the guest. The press is talking about the other stuff, but the album's been out 10 months and the tour is almost over (as of now, at least). At that point in a tour/album cycle any band is lucky if it is still being talked about in the press so I'd say they were doing good...

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 1:52 PM

I've seen most of their tours and last night was easily the best that I've seen. The sound we were on the floor couldn't have been better. Seeing David Byrne sing that incredible Suicide song was magical! Glad they stopped doing some of those silly antics they used to do like fighting and climbing up the stage. Television were a cool choice but without Richard Lloyd it's just not the same. Unicorns were ok and Dan Deacon is a bad joke. 1241 Unicorns are not exactly a household name.(for good reason - nothing special)Television are from the 70s and never had any hit songs. They were barely even played on the radio back then. 1214 You obviously were not there.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 2:29 PM

Sacher officially owns the title "Worst Music Taste of All Times." No one will ever dispute it. The king.

What fucking bullshit. Brooklyn, you should be embarrassed.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 2:33 PM

Annnnd where are any pictures of TV? Give me some info here, BV.

Posted by The Boss | August 25, 2014 2:38 PM

Like AF or not, they get kudos for having Television on the bill. Television has a big fan base in Europe, less so here, so praise to AF for putting them in front of a large audience.

Posted by anonymous | August 25, 2014 2:48 PM

233 The show was very good as anyone who was there will attest. Please tell us what constitutes good music in your feeble little mind! And please explain why Brooklyn should be embarrassed?

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 2:55 PM

yes no

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 2:58 PM

i was at this show. i was on the floor. i stood in front of some beautiful women and let out some smelly farts. they seemed to enjoy it.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 3:00 PM

There was definitely a huge fart on the floor (left side, toward stage) during Roccoco. Very ripe but quickly dissipated thank god.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 3:16 PM

Was anybody at the AF show on Randall's Island with Blonde Redhead and LCD opening? If so, please contrast and compare. Which AF show was better?

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 3:32 PM

"Day 1 pics were best. Day 3 second best. Day 2 worst."

Truthfully none of them are very good

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 3:37 PM

332 Randall's Island show > Barclays

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 3:41 PM

Nah, this was better than Randall's. More material, longer set, more fun.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 3:44 PM

Byrne needs a better personal assistant.

Piss poor advice to hitch his wagon to these Canadian hacks

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 3:54 PM

2:55: Look at the photos from these shows. Look at the photo of the douchebag dancing with the chicken. Look at yourself.

Brooklyn should be embarrassed because of Barclay's Center. Brooklyn should be embarrassed about celebrating mediocrity. Brooklyn should be embarrassed of Sacher. Brooklyn should be embarrassed of you.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 4:20 PM

3:54 - Wrong. These "hacks" are filling stadiums that even David Byrne himself would love to play to at this stage in his career. But then again, you know so much more about the music biz than folks like David Bowie, Byrne, Debbie Harry, etc., so we'll all just defer to your better judgement.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 4:22 PM

Randall's in 2007 had a couple of great moments (Will climbing up the support beams during Rebellion and the acoustic cover, in the crowd, of Kiss Off), but the band is better and the material more expansive in 2014.

Barclays > Randall's.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 4:25 PM

4:22: Just because the remnants of the music industry has lead to Arcade Fire being elevated to semi-stardom, doesn't mean they're in any way valid, important, or good. Quite the opposite, actually.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 4:25 PM

I know, 4:20. It really sucks that people are having fun and enjoying themselves. I much prefer watching shows with my arms crossed and a scowl on my face, but what can you do.

Brooklyn is a place. It's just a goddamn location. Save your weird hometown pride, no one is impressed.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 4:25 PM

yeah 1:14, no question, but the point is not who puts on a better show, it's who would be more of a spectacle in this environment... and David Byrne shows up all the time all over the place so no big deal there, but Suicide in an arena? That would be crazy. and a rarity.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 4:27 PM

4:25: Bullshit. It's a place where rich white go to celebrate their richness and whiteness, and live without any culture other than that which celebrates themselves and their culture.

Really.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 4:28 PM

these guys are pap

you guys are ordinary saps for liking it

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 4:38 PM

Yep, liking Arcade Fire makes ya'll basic bitches. Got it?

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 4:45 PM

Did anyone catch them when they played pianos in 03 with moonraker??

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 4:53 PM

They should still be playing matinees at Piano's today, although a Russian mafia-run corporate-rich-cumshot center like Barclay's is karmic retribution, I suppose.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 4:55 PM

garbage

you people = one direction fans who take themselves more seriously

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 5:07 PM

4:25 -- playing 3 nights at an arena in NYC is not "semi-stardom." The rest is your own misguided opinion.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 5:11 PM

No, this is the only place they're playing that kind of space, with lots of comp seats. Semi-stardom. Soon to be forgotten.

Shut up, basic bitch.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 5:36 PM

Television setlist?

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 5:47 PM

I was at Randall's Island and at 2 of this weekend's shows - the Randall's Island thing was great because I got two bands I love and one I like, but when it comes down to Arcade Fire only - I enjoyed this weekend's shows better. None of them beat the '07 United Palace show though.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 5:53 PM

Cracks me up that certain fools read an article about a band they supposedly hate and then bother leaving a comment. Why? Get a life. The show was a blast and you're sad and pathetic.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 6:37 PM

I love you all.
-Jesus
#SONOFGOD
#DIEDFORYOURSINS
#DONTFORGETIMJEWISH

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 7:03 PM

Culture wars, basic bitch.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 7:21 PM

The Arcade Fire is warm butter but the post city if for insecure fruitcakes.

Posted by Mr. Foot Fetish | August 25, 2014 7:30 PM

5:47
I may be missing a song or two, but Television played:

-1880 or so
-Prove It
-Torn Curtain
-a new song
-See No Evil
-Marqueen Moon

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 7:44 PM

The Television new song may be the one called Persia, but I am not sure. Very bad with song names.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 7:47 PM

Tom Verlaine's solo on Torn Curtain was about as good as live music gets. Out of this world mesmerizing.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 7:49 PM

"Culture wars," you say, Ms. or Mr. Basic Bitch. Curious. What a colossal waste of time and energy. I will leave you now, BB, so you can continue your war on culture. I imagine your task is endless, which means you've probably moved on to search out and read an article about Justin Bieber to comment on in your brave crusade.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 8:26 PM

Just accept your bad taste, and go to sleep bitch.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 8:36 PM

I will. Just as I'm done fucking yo momma beeeeyotch.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 9:26 PM

Yeah, 12:26 - only the very socially inept (or totally shameless) can't tell that WIn does not want to either (i) attract attention to himself from the band actually playing or (ii) be bothered with handshakes and what-nots because he wants to enjoy the show. I felt bad for him.

But I really don't understand the handful of people who actually bothered him for pictures, do you really think that the other people didn't recognize Win (he is hard to miss! he is very tall and was wearing stuff that is recognizable, like the hat that he has worn before)? We all recognize who was who! We just left them alone because we actually love music and understand that other people love music too! Some of us actually were there for the music and are not whoring for celebrities. As difficult as this may be for the selfie-takers and picture-with-Win-seekers to understand.

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 10:51 PM

Does anyone else find it annoying that people choose to stand the entire show blocking the view of others?

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 11:15 PM

No, it's much more annoying when people sit at a rock show. Just stay home.

Posted by Anonymous | August 26, 2014 12:24 AM

420/425(Middle post) Do you have any idea how silly that you sound? Millions of people worldwide disagree with your dopey opinions. AF are rock stars weather you think so or not.
As for comparisons to past shows: I thought last night was better than State Palace, Randall's Island or that church in the Village. I was close to the stage at all of those shows. They are just a better band now with more varied material.

Posted by Anonymous | August 26, 2014 2:02 AM

Arcade fire are awesome.yes the bobbleheads stuff is a bit bizarre but arcade fires music is just mindblowing

Posted by rogers steve | August 26, 2014 7:35 AM

^Sorry, this is the band that inspired the "who is Arcade Fire/I've never heard of them" meme. It's an oversized trend, driven by myopic asshole Brooklynites.

Posted by Anonymous | August 26, 2014 7:38 AM

I agree, 2:02, these shows were their best performances as far as i've seen since the summerstage. Only Setlist i did like better was randalls because we got cold wind and headlights

Posted by Anonymous | August 26, 2014 9:47 AM

lol at calling the arcade fire "soon to be forgotten," as if they haven't been massively growing in popularity for the past 10 years. they were playing to 5k people at summerstage to support their first album, 10 years ago. they're not going away anytime soon.

Posted by Anonymous | August 26, 2014 10:03 AM

Just accept that you have bad taste, asshole.

Posted by Anonymous | August 26, 2014 10:23 AM

^Really, is Arcade Fire's publicist waging a personal war on here?

Yes, they're popular. Yes, they're terrible.

Posted by Anonymous | August 26, 2014 10:31 AM

1023/1031 Please name some bands from the last 10 years that are better. You idiots put them down but never mention who you think are better.

Posted by Anonymous | August 26, 2014 10:47 PM

We'll, Corey Feldman's musical projects are clearly better.

Posted by Anonymous | August 26, 2014 11:11 PM

Sing Along With Colin and Pizza Underground are more engaging than Arcade Fire. Fuck, I'll even throw in Friends as more entertaining.

Posted by Anonymous | August 26, 2014 11:47 PM

If u dont like arcade fire i feel sorry for u.they are the best band in the world.just listen 2 their albums. Reflektor gets better with every listen.

Posted by rogers steve | August 27, 2014 1:01 PM

>The Television new song may be the one called Persia, but I am not sure. Very bad with song names.


that is the name of that song, but it's not "new," per se -- just unrecorded. it's been in the set list for a while, or at least since the "reformation." Before Lloyd left the band, at least.

Posted by Anonymous | September 7, 2014 3:22 PM

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