Arcade Fire performed a Smiths cover as they kicked off the English leg of their UK arena tour tonight (October 27).
Paying tribute to the Manchester legends in their hometown, singer Win Butler described the track ‘Still Ill’ as a song “that made me want to play music” before adding: “I have been sick and better this year and sick again. This song is called ‘Still Ill’.”
As previously reported on NME.COM, the band cancelled a series of European dates earlier this year after Butler suffered a sinus infection.
Arcade Fire, who performed as a 10-piece over a backdrop which featured giant shots of the band and the crowd, also performed the Regine Chassagne-fronted early EP track ‘I’m Sleeping In A Submarine’ during their uplifting 90-minute show at the MEN Arena.
The gig saw the band kick off the early part of their set with a host of tracks from their second album ‘Neon Bible’ before ramping up proceedings with a selection of fan favourites, including ‘Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)’, ‘Rebellion (Lies)’, ‘Intervention’ and ‘Wake Up’, which saw the whole venue belting out the song’s catchy refrain.
The Canadian outfit also took time out to raise awareness of the charity Partners In Health.
“If we can raise one pound per person from each gig we can get better healthcare and housing in poorer countries,” said Butler. “There is 14,000 people here which is fucking amazing.”
The singer seemed overwhelmed by the audience’s reponse throughout the gig as he declared: “This is easily the biggest fucking crowd we have ever played to inside. It is fucking amazing. Thank you so much.”
Arcade Fire played:
‘Keep The Car Running’
‘(Antichrist Television Blues)’
‘No Cars Go’
‘I’m Sleeping In A Submarine’
‘In The Backseat’
‘Ocean Of Noise’
‘Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)’
‘The Well & The Lighthouse’
‘Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)’
The band will continue their UK tour with dates at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena on Monday (October 29), Cardiff International Arena (30) and Nottingham Arena (31), before wrapping up their tour with three shows at London’s Alexandra Palace on November 17, 18 and 19.