James Murphy helped to pull the wool over the eyes of the crowd at 299 Meserole in Bushwick
Arcade Fire surprised fans at their first major gig of the year in Brooklyn, New York, by performing on a secret stage.
Though a stage was set up in the middle of the warehouse space at 299 Meserole in Bushwick, the band played their hour-long set on a stage at the side of the venue which was revealed at the last minute. At 9.30pm, former LCD Soundsystem man and co-producer of Arcade Fire’s forthcoming new album ‘Reflektor’, James Murphy appeared onstage. Speaking to cheers, he said: “We can only get three members for right now… I’d like to introduce The Reflektors.” Three musicians wearing giant papier-mâché heads then arrived onstage and played an aimless riff for a minute or so.
It soon became apparent that the real stage for the evening was at the side of the venue. Fans swarmed to the barrier on the left hand side of the room as a large black curtain dropped to reveal a large stage upon which were the members of Arcade Fire. The band burst into their recent single ‘Reflektor’, the chorus sparking off a massive singalong from the crowd, most of whom were in fancy dress.
After playing their second song, ‘Flashbulb Eyes’, frontman Win Butler said to the crowd: “Everyone good? We’re called The Reflektors. We’re from Montreal. Thank you for coming. You guys look beautiful by the way. We figured we get dressed up every night…”. Later he thanked the crowd again for coming to watch them play in a “sweaty factory”. He also apologised for the stage switch, saying to the fans who climbed onto the ‘fake’ stage after the real one was revealed: “Sorry we played a trick on you. Will you forgive us? We just thought it was funny. It won’t be the last time we do something we think is funny that no-one else does.”
The band played an hour-long, 10-song set made up of eight new tracks and two older songs – ‘Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)’ and ‘Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)’. The latter two songs were introduced as ‘cover versions’ of Arcade Fire songs. The new songs included ‘Afterlife’, which they debuted last month on Saturday Night Live, and ‘Here Comes The Night Time’, which featured in their Roman Coppola directed television special of the same name, alongside ‘We Exist’ and ‘Normal Person’. The songs ‘Joan Of Arc’, ‘It’s Never Over’ and ‘Flashbulb Eyes’ received their live debuts at the gig.
During the show Win Butler addressed the fact that touts were attempting to sell tickets for the sold-out show for up to $5,000 online. Addressing the “whole scalper thing” he said: “As I understand it, we sold 1,800 tickets pretty much on the pre-sale, so consider that our $500 dollar gift to you… There could have been a bunch of weird scalper dudes, but I think it was pretty much humanity doing its thing.”
The band will play another show at the same venue tonight (October 19) before shows in Miami at Mekka (October 23) and the Little Haiti Cultural Center (October 24). They will then play Neil Young’s annual Bridge School benefit gig next weekend folllowed by a show at an as-yet-unnamed outdoor Los Angeles venue on October 29. The band’s fourth album ‘Reflektor’ is released on October 28.
Arcade Fire played:
‘Joan Of Arc’
‘It’s Never Over’
‘Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)’
‘Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)’
‘Here Comes The Night Time’