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Arcade Fire Burns Bright at Osheaga Homecoming – Spinner

In Canada on August 1, 2010 at 19:29

Arcade Fire Burns Bright at Osheaga Homecoming

Steve Deschênes

“This is extra special because my friends are here,” said Régine Chassagne, addressing the Montreal crowd in her native French throughout Arcade Fire‘s 90-minute Osheaga Festival set. It certainly wasn’t Arcade Fire’s first time playing in Montreal, but it definitely felt like the most extraordinary. Back for the first time as headliners at their hometown festival, it felt like fate was conspiring to turn it into a special show.

In front of a 25,000-strong festival crowd, all of which seemed to converge at the main stage for Arcade Fire’s night-ending set, the band went all out, instilling each song with as much enthusiasm as they could muster, which for Arcade Fire is a hell of a lot. Original member Owen Pallett joined the lineup on violin, despite having stormed offstage during his earlier solo set, and the band’s grand nine-piece arrangements were absolutely effervescent, underscored by a fortuitous nearby fireworks display.

Just a few days before the release of their long-awaited third LP, ‘The Suburbs,’ the band’s renditions of new tracks ‘Rococo’ and ‘We Used To Wait’ had the fans dancing along to the soaring choruses, despite their relative unfamiliarity. But the hardest-hitting debut was the electronic-infused ‘Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains),’ performed for the very first time as a treat for the hometown crowd. Over the atypical synth-infused arrangement, Régine Chassagne’s high-pitched vocals fell somewhere between Blondie and Björk.

But it wasn’t all new material last night. Dusting off fan favourites ‘Rebellion (Lies),’ ‘No Cars Go’ and ‘Neighbourhood #1’ through ‘Neighborhood #3,’ the band was happy to give the audience what it wanted, ending the set with the always-powerful ‘Wake Up,’ performed as an arm-waving sing-along with the capacity crowd, complete with confetti.

It would be hard to think of a more perfect homecoming.

Watch clips from Arcade Fire’s performance last night in the Montreal Gazette video below:

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