Tuesday, October 02, 2007

LCD Soundsystem and Arcade Fire do Utah.

Not saying what I thought of the Arcade Fire/LCD Soundsystem show last week makes me feel like the laziest man in the world. I mean, we’re at nearly a week later, and I’ve yet to talk about the show I hyped and dreamt about for weeks on top of months. Now I’m ready to share a bit. I have to. It won’t be a very thorough review—for one of those, go read my friend and fellow fan-boy Matt’s ravings/review by clickety-clicking HERE—but I’ve some scattered observations. Watch me as I string them together into pretty sentences and paragraphs!

First off, the weather was perfect. It felt like the greatest kind of air conditioning in the world, with a big yellow moon to go with it. One of the last outdoor shows I’ll see this year—if not THE last—we were so sardines-packed in that the chill in the air kept me comfortable … and breathing easy. Also, showing up three hours early has its advantages. Hoss and I sat a safe distance away during the sound check, long enough to get an earful of songs before the lazy security guard got up and told us to return to our place in line (i.e. where the 10 high school hipster kids in “line” were sprawled out across the sidewalk like reluctant sun-tanners).

As for the show? I liked all I heard. All of it. I was thrilled. I wish the text messagers surrounding me had given me more elbow room during LCD Soundsystem, but I ended up not caring and banging into them in all my retarded bounce-dancing glory anyway. It’s music that forces you to convulse. And so I did. Abundantly. I enjoy that the voice behind the band was a chubby crooner-type with white sunglasses on—and that he easily got his groove on Every Single Time he started a song. Best tune of the night wasn’t one I knew in advance, but “Yeah” had some seriously good drumming action to call its own. Think I counted three drummers on that one. LCD didn’t open the show for me so much as it happened to be first. I’ll see them again in a heartbeat. More dance floor next time, if you please, and less stare’ers. Look and see, sure, but feeeeeel as well. That’s important.

Arcade Fire came, saw and conquered the second half. Did they play all I’d wanted them to. Yes, including some nuggets off that first EP that I didn’t even know. Did they bang on all parts of the stage (and each other’s helmets) with drum sticks? Yes. Was it a big long game of musical chairs up on stage? Oh, yes. With 10 or so musical wizards in front, they couldn’t stick with one instrument all that long before switching off to another. It was loud, it was dizzy and I had to fight—with all the strength I have in my slight 192 lb. frame—to not get smashed against the bars up front, but more on that later.

No, no. More on that now. This needs saying.

Now, a word about the crowd. At first, it felt pretty cool to have these two crazy liked bands just a few minutes from the place I call work. The more things progressed, however, the less I felt that way. They were inexperienced and practically incapable of housing, oh, 2700 people in one of their fields. But, my beef wasn’t entirely with the promoters. I understand the place was supposedly alcohol-free and only the craftiest sorts were successful at sneaking their buds in, but why all the pushing? Granted, you’re excited. You want to cheer and pull your hair out and pretend Arcade Fire’s the best thing since sliced bread and the Beatles and, you know? I’m all for that. All of it. I do not understand how pushing everybody who’s fought for a front, second, third row spot right into the bars accounts for enthusiasm. Moshing makes more sense than that (and only marginally so). The short people in our crowd had to seek shelter, lest they be trampled by the yaks. Others had to resort to name calling and giving dirty looks in the dark. I, on the other hand, had to stop myself from showing a couple sweaty folks with no manners to call their own my very own gun show. And, yes, fists were thrown, though not be me. It’s something an adequate security force could have controlled, but this was Thanksgiving Point. There were two guys that I could count flanking the stage, both looking incredibly bored as we made pole imprints on our faces. I just wanted to watch a show. As things turned out, I had to protect my friends’ wives from being mauled. It was outrageous. I blame the venue, the Utah County kids and our President. They brought my excited-o-meter down to a 7 or a 7.5 when I could have had things resting nicely at a 10+. This goes beyond being semi-old for the show and cranky. It was behavior that was simply uncalled for.

But, yeah, Arcade Fire. The whole lot of them seemed genuinely thrilled to be where they were. We responded in kind. And they sang and ranted and didn’t waste time in putting on a SHOW. I discovered the reason, time and again, they’re called by some “the best live band on the planet right now.” They can bask in Canadian weirdness and crowd sing-a-longs and cracked cymbals just as much as they want—they are who they are. We like that. We will buy their music and pay $12 in service fees and come and see them do their crazy off-their-rockers kind of dance and song antics. We did it last Wednesday and we’ll do it again. Times ten.

Arcade Fire, I thank you. Come again. All things considered, I still went home happy. And spent.


matt lohrke said...

i couldn't have said it any better myself. luckily, i didn't have the same problems with the crowd that you did. i was at a relatively safe distance from the stage, so it was all good. :)

great write up!

ewesa said...

nice sum-up. sorry about the bars.

ZLB said...

i can count about 6 people in that crowd shot that I know, but no me. i almost got killed in the trampling. seriously. we sought a haven more towards the left where we had great views and room to boogie without getting decked. and the show? you said fan-freaking-tastic. the best.

Chris said...

great writeup, sounds like that was a perfect venue for that show. other than the pole imprints and the fighting.