Live Review: Arcade Fire // SSE Arena Wembley, London – 11.04.18

Taking over the Wembley’s SSE Arena for three consecutive nights, Arcade Fire show exactly why they are an indie household name.

There are few experiences that leave me speechless. Both because I love to talk, but also because I consider myself a person who’s not easily shook. Arcade Fire’s immense Wembley show was one of those rare moments. And though I feel like the amazement may never phantom into words the way I really want, I’m giving it a fair try.

With a surreal intro culminating in a champion-like entrance, Arcade Fire takes to stage for their first night at the SSE Arena. Opening with the title track of their latest offering, Everything Now, the glitzy disco extravagance rolls off.

For a band that has mastered the indie landscape for over a decade, it seems that Arcade Fire take little for granted. Their continuous innovation also seeps through to their live show, and the unconventional stage setup is just one of many fine details the band have added into their performance on this tour.

Following the aesthetic and concept of Everything Now, it is a tender juxtapose to witness such passion for the craft against the pretended backdrop of sterile corporative forces. Their thematic albums and extensive catalogue are curated seamlessly into a setlist dominated by all your favourite songs, each number executed with the most fastidious precision.

Win Butler’s loaded vocals evoke every tender melodic detail, and when paired with absolute disco queen, Regine Chassagne, there are moments of true live magic. That being said, there is a downside to the stage format combined with the sheer number of members of Arcade Fire. The group can at times come off as separate entities, yet, this perhaps may work in the favour of the creeping enterprise antics.

You can’t help but feel that you just witnessed something truly special. The Montreal band are incredibly tight, and framed with a marvellous production and light design, they stun. Arcade Fire’s harrowing lyrical messages do also shine through, making for a bizarre contrast when sung by thousands of people in pure ecstasy.

‘Put Your Money On Me’ tantalizing effect merges into full bloom, and it’s just one of many immersive musical moments of the night. With a brilliant cover of The Pretenders’ ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’ alongside The Chrissie Hynde, a fairytale rendition of ‘Neon Bible’ lit up by thousands of phone flashes, and the massive ‘Reflektor’, the Canadian group surpass every expectation.

There are no words that can do justice to the feeling Arcade Fire leaves you feeling as they end with eternal anthem ‘Wake Up’. From the shimmering, ‘Here Comes The Night Time’ to the intimate ‘We Don’t Deserve Love’ the group keeps on surprising. The feat will continue across the arena residency, and yet, Arcade Fire have already exceeded all your dreams in a fashion only they could manage.

Words by Aurora Henni Krogh

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Aurora Henni Krogh

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