1. Arcade Fire have been around for just over a decade now, and for all that time, they’ve had a reputation for being a very exciting live band.
2. But they’ve upped their game for their Reflektor tour. They aren’t settling for just being epic and emotional and intense. Now they are FUN.
3. Their shows have a colorful, surreal carnival vibe now. Lots of costumes, lots of glitter, and plenty of people running around with bobblehead masks.
Here they are entering the arena through the crowd at the start of the show.
4. They have a lot of cool lighting and staging effects, but the most memorable images are all people in costumes doing their thing. Like, say, this mirror person.
5. Or the quartet of guys in high heels who dance to “We Exist” in the middle of the arena.
6. Or the skeleton dudes who dance with Régine when she sings “Sprawl II.”
Their best song ever, btw.
8. People still have big emotional moments at the show. The songs from Funeral always punch people right in the feels.
9. But now people get dressed up to get in the spirit of the festivities.
13. But overall, people are really, really amped and refreshingly un-jaded for what is still basically an indie rock show.
You can never pretend that you’re too cool if you’re going to a show at an arena.
14. Before the band come out for an encore, they always have a band of bobbleheads “play” a song or two.
They did LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends” at this show, in tribute to their producer, LCD mastermind James Murphy.
15. You never know who might be under those masks. One night, the “Pope” bobblehead was none other than Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad.
17. When they come back for the encore, they always play a cover song specially chosen for each city, usually a song by a famous artist from that town.
This was a special night, so David Byrne came out to help them do Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream” while dressed up like a dracula.
18. After that, it’s time for the grand finale! This means a LOT of confetti.
19. People go WILD for confetti. It’s one of those simple things that is just never not awesome.
It’s just so pretty!
20. Then it’s time to wrap it up with one last big sing along.
“Wake Up” may be the platonic ideal for the last song of a big arena show.
21. Just when you think it’s all over, the band and all the dancers leave through the audience as the horn and percussion players do a jazz version of “Wake Up” like a second line in New Orleans.
Why doesn’t everyone end shows like that?
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