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Concert Review: Arcade Fire @ Toronto’s Olympic Island | Ampersand | National Post

In Canada on August 15, 2010 at 09:54

Concert Review: Arcade Fire @ Toronto’s Olympic Island

  August 15, 2010 – 9:13 am

It’s hard not to get caught up in the whirlwind of attention surrounding Arcade Fire since they topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic earlier this month with their latest album, the Suburbs.

There’s been a Terry Gilliam-directed Webcast from Madison Square Garden, an aggressive social media campaign, and a plethora of press, including a piece in the New York Times questioning their indie-cred after they managed to sell 156,000 copies of their latest effort.

But who cares? Strip out all the buzz around the band. Strip out the debate on whether they’ve sold their soul for record sales. Strip out all the talk on Twitter, and Facebook. And what do you have?

A really good album and an even better live band, who stepped up once again to deliver nothing short of an amazing show on Toronto’s Olympic Island Saturday night.

If you’re confused about the amount of attention the septet has received, go see them live.

From the double-drum kit intro, Ready to Start, to the encores of Keep the Car Running and Wake Up, the band lived up to its reputation as being one of the best live acts around. The highlights of their set came from new tracks off the Suburbs, like Rococo and We Used to Wait.

But No Cars Go and Haiti, off their earlier albums, were equally impressive.

The Sadies, who opened the concert two hours after the gates opened, fit the bill perfectly.But the choice of Janelle Monáe, a Grammy-nominated pop-funk performer, led to a lot of hipster-head scratching.

Despite selling out London’s O2 arena and adding a second show there earlier this week, tickets were still on sale for the Toronto Island show.

It’s hard to say whether it was the two shows earlier this year in Toronto, or Olympic Island’s troubled past hosting events that was behind the show not selling out. But Collective Concerts, which put on the Arcade Fire concert as well as the Toronto Island Concert earlier this summer, has come a long way in developing Olympic into a viable venue, most importantly tackling the beer and food lines, which were flowing freely until a crush of customers ahead of Arcade Fire’s set.

There was, of course, the usual mad-dash to the ferry back to the mainland afterwards, but there was a lot more smiling faces this time around.

– Scott Deveau

Setlist:

Ready to Start
Month of May
Neighborhood #2
No Cars Go
Haïti
Modern Man
Rococo
The Suburbs
The Suburbs (Continued)
Intervention
Crown of Love
Neighborhood #1
Sprawl II
We Used to Wait
Neighborhood #3
Rebellion (Lies)

Encore:
Keep the Car Running
Wake Up

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