The Canadian band featured on the hit US show on Saturday (May 7) in support of their sixth studio album ‘WE’, which came out the day before (May 6).
- READ MORE: The NME Big Read – Arcade Fire: “‘WE’ connects the dots between everything we’ve ever done”
Introduced by guest host Benedict Cumberbatch, Arcade Fire played their recent singles ‘Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)’ and ‘The Lightning I, II’ in the legendary New York studio. Frontman Win Butler ended the powerful latter performance by speaking out about abortion rights.
In a rare move, SNL allowed its most recent musical guests to play a third track. The group offered up a live rendition of ‘WE’ song ‘End Of The Empire II’, although it was cut from the TV broadcast.
“Oh my God, it’s in the wrong key,” Butler said at the start of the performance, which was shared on SNL‘s official YouTube channel today (May 10). “Here we go…” The Saturday Night Live house band joined in with the joyous yet somewhat loose version of the song.
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Arcade Fire debuted ‘End Of The Empire I-III’ and ‘End Of The Empire IV (Sagittarius A*)’ during their intimate gig at KOKO in London last month. However, that section of the performance didn’t air as part of the official live-stream.
Speaking to NME for last week’s Big Read cover interview, Win Butler opened up about his brother Will’s departure from Arcade Fire and talked about the divisive response to the band’s 2017 album ‘Everything Now’.
Arcade Fire are due to embark on a UK and Ireland arena tour in late August before heading to Europe and North America for further headline shows. Tickets for all the dates go on general sale at 10am local time this Friday (May 13).
Arcade Fire’s UK/Ireland 2022 schedule is as follows:
30 – Dublin, IE, 3Arena
2 – Birmingham, UK, Utilita Arena Birmingham
3 – Manchester, UK, AO Arena
5 – Glasgow, UK, OVO Hydro
8 – London, UK, O2 Arena
In a four-star review of ‘WE’, NME wrote: “Our global journey from fear to appreciation is played out in what Arcade Fire themselves accurately describe as a “concise 40-minute epic”. Philosophically, they haven’t been so focussed since 2010’s ‘The Suburbs’, nor so musically dramatic since 2007’s ‘Neon Bible’. Subscribe.”