To see The Reflektors (aka Arcade Fire) last night at the Little Haiti Cultural Center no less, felt like a special treat, a perfect gift, for both us and them. It has been noted a few times over that the new album- titled of course, Reflektor -was heavily influenced in sound and subject by Haiti. Playing outside in the heart of our Little Haiti, everything seemed so well suited. With costumed fans (as per there request) flocking from all different parts of town, a colorful and festive scene was made as we waited for the Montreal-ians to take to the stage.
Tacos, cowboys, Gumbys, cats, and many face painted/masquerade mask wearing concert goers crammed their way into the outdoor space at 7:00pm, as Haitian music blasted from the speakers to keep spirits up while we waited until 9:00pm for The Reflektors. The required costuming made the time waiting easily more entertaining, with constant eye candy surrounding us. It was almost humorous to see the wide range of people at the show- mind you – a show that sold out in five minutes. Dads and their kids, twenty something year olds and all found themselves sharing air in anticipation. And it wasn’t at all surprising! I mean, who really doesn’t like Arcade Fire? And even if you’re not a huge fan, how could you not at least respect them? I can conclude after this show that they are one of the few bands that have grazed the mainstream, reached a pretty broad audience, and continued to make smart, and simply great music that so many people can appreciate. And isn’t that the goal anyways?
But what seems to set them apart from other bands that have reached a similar musical point in their careers, is that not only is their music of high quality, it’s also music that is important, and that is what came across last night. Just the decisions that went along with the show, as in where it would take place and why, were making a statement. Every choice they’ve made in regard to this latest album have been for a reason, as if their musical presence has a true mission to it, which is rare and refreshing in this day and age.
The first song they performed, and one of the few that we really knew as they mostly played new songs, was their title track “Reflektor”. It’s slightly disco groove made it easy to jump around and freak the hell out. I mean, it was such a small venue, and they were so accessible! They were right there! And they sounded amazing! But as I discovered as the night went on, what would really make it a successful night depended entirely on us. The band was perfect, they did all that they could and then some. Since we didn’t know most of the songs, all we could really do was dance. I, fortunately, had a great little group of friends that would get wild with me, and bust out all the extreme moves necessary to keep the party going. But I’m just lucky to know some people that are as loopy as I am- love you guys!
A part of me feels like I had more fun than most people- not to say that the crowd was bad or anything, they really weren’t, but some people just don’t want to let it all out. I believe Win Butler realized this at one point when announcing the next song, “Sprawl II”, by saying something along the lines of “Hey, if you’ve been holding things in a little bit tonight, let’s all go a little crazy for this next one” which was smart since people actually knew that track which made it easier to jam out.
Besides sounding impeccable, the band were such a spectacle on stage. Regine was simply a piece of art. Win was the perfect frontman. Will was extremely spazzy and brilliant. Each of the entire-what, 10 piece? were perfectly unique and carried something special onstage with them. Everywhere you looked, something beautiful was happening. And even in their music alone, I feel this comes across. But it is an entirely different experience live. The night felt close to their hearts as they apologized repeatedly for taking so long to grace us with their presence. And somehow, even if you’ve never been there, you could sort of feel Haiti in the air, just through the way they spoke of it, with such love and affection. Win closed the night by reminding us that, “We believe in Haiti, we believe it will come back better than ever before. We believe in the Haitians, and we need to support them.” which is a statement that transcends simply good listening music, which makes them a band that will be remembered years down the line for more than just great albums, but who they are and where they stood.
“You Already Know”
“It’s Never Over”
“Here Comes The Night Time”
Stream Arcade Fire’s entire album Reflektor