Arcade Fire’s Regine Chassagne discusses emotional Haiti show

The band have been working with Haitian musicians in the aftermath of earthquake

Arcade Fire musician Régine Chassagne has spoken of her emotional reaction on returning to Haiti for a show recently.

Canadian Chassagne‘s parents fled from the country under the dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier, and she has been vocal in her calls for western relief after an earthquake devastated the island last year.

In response, the band have been working on a number of projects with local musicians, which will be documented in a film later this year. As part of it, they played a show in the remote town of Cange. Now, Chassagne has written about the experience in The Observer.

As well as remembering how the townspeople “pulled out all the stops” to make them feel welcome, Chassagne also describes the sound system they rented from Port-au-Prince, saying “the monitor set-up here sounds better than what we had on the ‘Funeral’ tour”. Later, she observes “we have definitely had worse sound in fancier places”.

Elsewhere, she reminisces about local band RAM who played with them at the show: “It was last summer when we invited RAM to Quebec City to play with us at a festival. Over that weekend we became friendly with many of the group. I remember eating dinner in the catering area and noticing one of them had a distant look on his face. I realised he was looking at the festival’s catering tent, which was bigger and nicer than the one he lived in. Many of the musicians in this amazing band are still living in tents in Port-au-Prince, more than a year after the earthquake.”