' Cinema Romantico: Heaven is a Place on Earth

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Heaven is a Place on Earth

So, the inevitable post is upon us. What to say? I suppose I could say The Arcade Fire is better than the Grand Canyon. And I'd be right, of course, but then we'd have to get into how I haven't seen the Grand Canyon and so on and forth and so, no, I won't say that. Instead, rather than lashing out with one of my usual Eurasia-sized essays I'm going to reprint for you the foremost thoughts that sashayed through my head as I witnessed, for the third time, the life-affirming spectacle that is an Arcade Fire show.

1. They need to play all their songs twice. I'm serious about this. One time around is simply not enough comprehend what's going on. By the time I've stopped freaking out that they're playing, say, "Keep the Car Running" (which has allowed me to maintain my sanity better than anything else for the last 2 months of my life) it's already over. Play it - let us come to grips with the fact that you are actually playing it and we're here witnessing it in person and not just listening to it on our Ipods for the 714th time - and then play it again so we can REALLY get invested in it. See? That's not too much to ask.

2. Win Butler is just such a cool guy. He talked glowingly about going to the Chicago Bulls game the previous night and that makes me really happy. He writes dark, foreboding songs about death and fear and hopelessness AND he likes sports.

3. "Antichrist Television Blues" is insanely amazing in concert.

3a.) The above is due in no small part to the fact Regine Chassagne bounds about every single part of the stage during the song while singing along whether or not she's anywhere near a microphone and bapping a tambourine.

4. During "Laika" Will Butler and Richard Parry used two drumsticks each to hit one cymbal over and over in some weird sort of choreographed fasion. I mean, they have every imaginable instrument up on that stage. They've got accordions, and french horns, and mandolins, and pipe organs, and glockenspiels, and hurdy-gurdys, but for one song two guys armed with a total of four drumsticks did nothing but bash a single cymbal. How cool is that?

4a.) During "Power Out" Will Butler ambled about the stage ripping up pieces of paper (I don't know what this paper was or where it came from ) and hurling them into the air.

5. The 40-something woman standing in front of me (with her husband) rocked out - and I mean rocked out - to "In the Backseat". I pray, deeply and dearly, that my wife rocks out to The Arcade Fire when she's in her 40's. In fact, if I ever take out a personal ad for dating that should be the whole logline: Must be willing to rock out to Arcade Fire when in your 40's. All others need not apply.

6. In my world it's like this, Bruce Springsteen is "Last of the Mohicans" and The Arcade Fire is "Million Dollar Baby".

7. Anticipation is perhaps our greatest drug. I decided this as I put back a couple pre-show pints of Honkers Ale while fighting off that feeling in my stomach that ordinarily only comes on prior to my asking out of a woman. Seeing The Arcade Fire live is only better than knowing I'm ABOUT to see The Arcade Fire live.

8. I apologize to Kylie Minogue (I'm sure she'll be heartbroken) but she is no longer my crush. No, I have a new musical mistress and her name is Sarah Neufeld. The last time I saw them live I was on the opposite side of where she stood but Friday night I was on her side of the stage and was allowed to invest in the band's primary violinist going to town on her instrument while dancing and shimmying the whole show. She never stops grooving. Never.

9. After every song there was applause and there was second applause. Meaning that the applause seemed to intensify each and every time in the middle of itself. It was as if we were all applauding the song and then we were applauding the band for playing the song. I'd never experienced anything like that.

10. Regardless of anyone else's opinion, no matter how clear-headed and reasonable it may be, it's really quite simple. The Arcade Fire is the greatest band in the whole entire world. And that's that.

11. When the fuck can I seem them again???

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