The sun was just setting behind the trees of Deer Lake Park as concert goers giggled and shuffled their feet. They anxiously adjusted positions, waiting with anticipation for the event ahead. People swatted at bugs attempting to take refuge in their summer jackets, and those seated on the grass ambled to their feet to better their view. The stage was set perfectly at the bottom of the slope, and, as the last of the instruments were tuned and set into place, Arcade Fire appeared.
As soon as the band took their positions, they started right into their set. The crowd bounced and twisted as it received each note and verse, absorbing the sound and sending its energy in return. “We don’t want to influence you or anything,” crowed vocalist Win Butler, “but it sure is nice to know you’re appreciated.” And with this, the audience took off into a frenzy of hoots and hollers that could be heard towns away. Playing through a solid set of songs, Arcade Fire finally reached “Rebellion (Lies),” where the emotion and volume of the audience shook the park with gratitude.
Before returning for an encore, the band brought out a cardboard cut-out of Butler to centre stage. It matched the singer’s outfit to every detail, except it was without his face. When the band broke back into song with “My Body Is a Cage” from their latest album, Neon Bible, Butler stood at the back of the stage, and as he sang, his face was projected onto cut-out, making for a rather stunning effect. And things like this went on throughout the show, like when little, hidden video cameras filmed each band member, projecting their images in and out of focus on screens behind them.
When Arcade Fire came to their grand finale, nobody wanted them to go. If you asked anyone in attendance what they thought, chances are they’d say this was one of the most amazing shows they’d ever attended.