Wednesday, February 02, 2005


(photo via Brooklyn Vegan)

It had all the makings of a letdown. The show was running excruciatingly late. Man Man was perhaps the most unpleasant musical experience I've ever heard. After them, Arcade Fire comes on to set up their instruments for a long long time, then tells the crowd there is another opener. A solo violinist who stuttered over his words. Fortunately I thought he was very very good, and even still, there were isolated calls from the crowd to bring on the band. Then Win and the rest finally take the stage, and he makes an awkward joke before going into their first song which was sounded like the volume was turned way down. And so it went…

I think deep down, many wanted it to be a bad show. All those who were at Bowery or CMJ wanted to be able to say that they saw them at a smaller venue, and that they were so much better back then. Bloggers scattered about Webster Hall were typing up posts in their head, picturing themselves earning some cred by being the guy who is too cool for the hottest band on the planet.

Well...I think anyone who was in attendance would have a tough time arguing, that from the second song on, we were seeing one of the best live acts of our time, and it would be near impossible to say that their set last night was anything short of briliant.

Every song grew bigger into the next. They played everything I think they know how to play, and each maintained the energy they had from Laika on. Was it better than the Bowery show? Was one of Nadia Comaneci's perfect 10's better than the other? How can you even compare this level of excellence?

By the end of the show, after coming out for a second encore, (I had been successfully duped into thinking they might not even come out for one), the band looked wiped. They were asking those remaining in the crowd (it was late, and Webster Hall can be tough to evacuate, so people often try and take off early) what else they could possibly play, begging us to let them go home so they could write more songs. They figured out one more they hadn't already done, and afterwards quietly, politely, and gratefully left the stage.

So, saying all that, I still think there will be plenty of backlash out there. I've already heard back from several people who were a bit disappointed with their show. I clearly was not. It's hard to live up to the hype, ya know? These guys continue to live up to and exceed it every time I get to see them. I'm excited to do it all again tonight. (minus Man Man, thank you.)


At 12:37 PM, Blogger zack said...

hey - saw the show on monday nite in philly, and i'm still having chills...

i agree, one of the best shows i've seen in a long time.

for live shows, as far as i'm concerned - radiohead, flaming lips, arcade fire...

fuckin a


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