Posted by: Paul | August 29, 2010

Arcade Fire at Reading Festival

Since it came out a few weeks ago, I’ve been listening to the new Arcade Fire album ‘The Suburbs’ almost constantly. So I was really excited when I found out earlier this week that their headlining performance at Reading was going to be televised! OK, so I know that now with TV coverage of every major music festival you can trust that at least a part of whoever it is you want to see will be broadcast, but I can’t stress enough how important something like Arcade Fire making it onto TV is for me.

When I was in my teens, I was an absolutely rampant music fan. At events like the regular Radio 1 Sound City concerts which took place throughout the nineties, I sat glued to my radio every night for a week, finger poised above the record button, waiting for my favourite band to appear on stage. This way, I accumulated a huge collection of recordings of my favourite bands, wading through hours of the Shed Seven and Menswear britpop dross to catch a four song set by dEUS, The Wannadies, or Six By Seven. I even stayed up until 3 in the morning once, under headphones, to catch Pearl Jam at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, from where their whole two hour set was broadcast.

So having easy access to a band like Arcade Fire, who have become so much a part of my personal musical landscape since I was introduced to ‘Funeral’ when it came out by a Canadian friend, is huge for me. Having a little one means I almost never get to gigs any more, and when I do it’s never a perfect situation – Mew was almost ruined by extremely tall people and fairly poor sound, so to be able to sit here typing this on a sunday morning watching the entire set recorded from last night, with Adam playing happily in front of the TV (and occasionally getting up an dancing, almost involuntarily) is just brilliant.

And they were brilliant too, with ‘Tunnels’ a particular highlight, the crowd continuing to sing after the sing ended (though the sound wasn’t as good as it should have been). There’s no artifice about them, no ego, no cynicism. Just a really nice bunch of incredibly talented people playing great music, and being successful. That, in itself, is incredibly exciting – and who could ask for something more perfect?

Also, ‘Haiti’ never made that much sense to me, until I saw Régine dancing to it last night 😉

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