Tuesday marked the release of Arcade Fire’s fourth studio album in nine years, Reflektor. The release and promotion of the album has been shrouded in a degree of mystery, such as shows being announced and performed by the band under the pseudonym, “The Reflektors.” The single for the album, “Reflektor,” has an immersive and interactive multi-platform-necessary music video. The video itself is more aesthetically pleasing than being centered on a coherent storyline, but the ambiguity only adds to the mystery. For those who haven’t heard the new album, it shows the band’s depth and takes their music in a new direction; it is the most unique and shocking album they have released in their whole discography thus far.
Thursday night’s Halloween show at The Palladium was completely sold out. Most of the thousands that attended dressed in costumes to celebrate the annual holiday. The Palladium itself was a bit decorated in Halloween clichés, but what was more aesthetically appealing was the tone that Arcade Fire brought to the show. Classic soul and R&B music warmed up the crowd, disco balls hung and spun from the ceiling, the stage backdrop was comprised of pieces of shattered mirrors, and all other sorts of surfaces were scattered across the room for the colorful lights to reflect off of. Appropriate given the name of the album and seemed to compliment the confidently retro sound that Arcade Fire’s music is heading in.
Arcade Fire came on stage and performed their first single off the new album, “Reflektor.” As the lights danced and moved throughout the room, so did the crowd. It’s hard to imagine someone not being able to groove along to Arcade Fire’s new album (which dominated the night’s set list). Sounds of synths, funky guitar riffs, grooving baselines and two Haitian percussionists are what drive the new reminiscent of a wide variety of musical genres, such as disco and more recent artists like LCD Soundsystem (which is no surprise given that James Murphy produced their latest album).
It was difficult to tell if the band was dressed up for Halloween, or if they just truly embrace their new musical direction. Some band members had face paint like ghouls and skeletons and most wearing black clothing. The exceptions were Win Butler, who had his new look (black paint over his eyes like a bandit, and a sparkling suit in the same styles as vintage James Brown or David Bowie) and of course, Regine Chassagne, who was wearing a colorful, neon, glow-in-the-dark flowing dress.
The set was nothing short of amazing. The highlights included “Reflektor,” “You Already Know,” “We Exist,” “Normal Person,” “It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus),” and the few songs from their older records such as “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out),” “Haiti” and “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).” As always, Chassagne stole the show, dominating the spotlight with her stunning lead vocals on the last two songs, “Haiti” and “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).” The only general complaint murmured among the crowd was that two few songs were played off their older records.
2. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
3. Flashbulb Eyes
4. Joan of Arc
5. You Already Know
6. We Exist
7. It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus)
9. Headlights Look Like Diamonds
10. Normal Person
11. Uncontrollable Urge (Devo Cover)
12. Here Comes the Night Time
14. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)