Rockhal, Saturday

Arcade Fire's all-round performance in Luxembourg

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It was back in March that den Atelier announced Canadian band Arcade Fire was coming to Luxembourg to perform on July 8, and not just any concert, but one on a special 360-degree stage.

A stage in the middle of the crowd, in theory, means that the audience is very close to the band. In practice the idea, invented for stadium bands like U2, is nearly always a disappointment with poor sound and and obscured view. For example, who wants to see the singer's back?

But this was not the case with Arcade Fire. The indie band on Saturday proved that it can be done differently. The eight-member band was dispersed evenly on the cube-shaped stage in the middle of the Rockhal. At least two musicians  were at each side playing guitars, bass, a violin and saxophone or synthesizer, but after every second song they all changed places.

The dynamic happening on the stage complemented the sound right from the start, with a very powerful yet clear sound. The crowds loved the set-up and energy celebrating by jumping, dancing and clapping, and Win Butler agreed stating that the Rockhal audience was a "great crowd."

The concert began with the Arcade Fire classic 'Wake Up' from their debut album 'Funeral', a hymn-like track, with which the audience became immediately involved "ohhh ehhh" chants.

'Everything Now' immediately followed. The single from their new album.

The Canadians raced through fourteen years of band history. Classics and more recent songs were interwoven together without pauses.

This all proved very sweaty for the musicians and the audience. In particular, Régine Chassagne was not to be envied in her blue leather jumpsuit. Could this be the reason why Arcade Fire left the stage after only 15 songs, plus a short encore of 'Neon Bible'?

Perhaps the band should return to Luxembourg soon to play in cooler temperatures.

(Article Pol Schock, translation Adam Walder,, +352 49939721)

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