• Concert Review: Pop Montréal - Arcade Fire

    Set 24 2011, 4:42

    Thu 22 Sep – Pop Montreal: Arcade Fire

    Pop Montréal scored a HUGE coup when Arcade Fire announced they’d be doing two shows during the festival, a smaller (sold out) show at Metropolis on Wednesday night as well as a free outdoors show at the Place Des Festivals on Thursday night. With a crowd estimated at over 100K people, you could say it was definitely a success. People came hours in advance in order to secure spaces close to the stage, me definitely not being one of them. I’d had a hectic day at school and went to grab dinner at Café ThEATre with some friends before heading to the show. Kid Koala and Karkwa were both opening for the band and I only just managed to catch a few minutes of Karkwa’s set, which sounded pretty solid.
    As I mentioned before, with apparently over 100 000 people, it was insanely packed while providing a crazy atmosphere. To say the crowd was eclectic would be a severe understatement. We stood further back where we could get a good view of the multiple screens and were surrounded by: a surprising number of: elderly ladies, an expected group of young hipsters, a damn whistler that was grating to say the least, young urban families and basically everything in between.
    Finally it was time for Arcade Fire to take the stage, fittingly starting with Ready To Start which was a perfect way to set the mood. It was a career sprawling set, offering pieces from all three of their albums and the crowd couldn’t have been happier. The combination of the space, the crowd, the band, their local ties, the festival… basically everything really, made it impossible for this not to be a success. Win Butler, Régine Chassagne and the rest of the band were super energetic (their sweaty faces attesting to this) and committed 100% and seemed genuinely happy to be back home performing. Régine made sure to mention that although they’ve toured literally around the world, there was nothing better than to be back in Montréal performing for their people. The sentiment was definitely mirrored by the bustling crowd and I highly doubt anybody left disappointed.
    Considering there was supposed to be a thunderstorm in the evening and summer is sadly coming to a close, we couldn’t have asked for a better night. The thunderstorm kept at bay and you could have been fooled into thinking it was a mid-August night. I had almost decided to bail after my long day and I’m so glad I didn’t. I can’t think of a better way to spend one of the last summer days. Huge thanks to Evenko, Pop Montréal and Arcade Fire for leaving us with a supremely positive memory going into the next few trying months.
  • No Words To Describe

    Set 22 2007, 16:32

    Fri 21 Sep – Björk, Santogold
    After waiting for hours on end for the opening act Santogold to finally begin, I was starting to lose patience. Especially considering that they were less than impressive.

    But that was all forgotten the minute Björk ran on stage for the opening Earth Intruders. When I say the crowd when ballistic, it's an understatement. Large flames shot up behind the stage as she ran from on end to the other, dancing along the way. We knew we were in for something nothing short of amazing.

    In all the excitement I've forgotten the order of the setlist. But every song was remarkable. The 10-piece brass band(Wunderbrass!) added a little something to all the songs, and when they weren't playing, they were dancing in the background and accompanying with the signing.

    The laser show during Army Of Me got the whole crowd in a frenzy. The special effects were plenty, but not overdone, only included when needed. The slower songs brought tears to my eyes while the power songs got everybody jumping and screaming. The whole crowd was singing along, feeling every minute of the concert.

    Hyperballad was remixed into this crazy techno dancy party with Björk going butt-fuck crazy on stage, and so did everybody else. Finishing the set was Pluto: I can't even begin to describe this. So I won't!

    We cheered, chanted and screamed until the band a Björk came back on stage for the encore. She presented the band and started into a touching version of Oceania, definitely one of the highlights. She finished off the show with Declare Independence, one of the most powerful performances I've ever seen live. The crowd was feeling it, screaming "Higher Higher" with intensity. When Björk chants "Protect Your Language", she said it with a sly grin waiting for the Quebec people's reaction. And she got it. They went up in a frenzy, and she smiled. One of the best moments of the nights.

    So were those hours waiting in line, and hours waiting in the sand just standing worth it. Hell motherfucking yeah! I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I think everybody there left wanting more, so much more. But still satisfied with what we got.

    Unordered Setlist:
    -Earth Intruders
    -Hidden Place
    -Pagan Poetry
    -Desired Constellation
    -Anchor Song
    -I Miss You
    -5 Years
    -Pleasure Is All Mine
    -Army Of Me

    -Declare Independance