I’m with the band. Ok, at least we like to think so, time to time, in our own rock ‘n’ roll fantasy. Ian Weed, our band guy about town is on the scene with his take on the latest Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade double billing recently at the Erwin Center.

When seeing Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade on the same bill, I felt like I could have been a club show from the early 2000s. These fact that these two Canadian bands recently shared the bill at the Erwin Center in 2017 is pretty darned great.

The stage, set up in the middle of the floor, allowed for a 360 view. Wolf Parade appeared first and played tracks from their soon to be released album, Cry Cry Cry, their first in seven years and based on how they played, it’s going to be another killer LP. I’m a fan of Spencer Krug (vocals/keyboard) and his various solo projects since WP. It was cool to finally hear songs from their debut Apologies to the Queen Mary live, as well as Grounds for Divorce and Shine a Light.

Talk about production values. During set break the stage was transformed into a boxing ring complete with ropes. The screens above the stage were playing infomercials for their fake Everything Now corporation from the album’s roll out. The lights went out and the spotlight at one end of the arena was on the band as they emerged like boxers – introductions and all.

Once in the ring, the band started with Everything Now and Signs of Life, the first two songs of their new album, and the energy didn’t stop. Side note, this was my first time seeing Arcade Fire. I’ve been a casual fan of the band and I’ve checked the albums out when they come out, but that’s about it. As they played songs from Neon Bible and The Suburbs there were several oh-darn-I-forgot-they-had-this-song moments. This show had me hooked.

The band sounded great and were, at times, literally bouncing off the ropes surrounding the stage. They often traded instruments between songs: Lead singer, Win Butler, playing bass on one song and guitar on the next. Regine Chassange also on vocals, keys, keytar and the drums. One of the highlights was Regine’s Electric Blue from their new abum. An electronic disco-ish jam that had the crowd forgetting they were out on a Wednesday night.

Rebellion (Lies) and Wake Up were, dare I say, epic. I’m not one to use that term out lightly, but it was really, really good. The band kept the anthemic chorus going as they exited the arena through the crowd. It was one of those shows where I wish they were playing two nights so I could see it again, because I would. Man, would I ever.


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