OnlineRock Blog

29 April 2011

The Arcade Fire at Coachella, Saturday April 16, 2011

By Lauren Lloyd

While Saturday’s Coachella Stage boasted an impressive lineup, the last act was certainly the one every Coacheller anxiously awaited while still dripping with sweat on the eve of the festival’s hottest day. As soon as Animal Collective stopped boring the crowd, the pushing ensued for Arcade Fire’s 11:20pm show. Packed like sardines - overheated, dehydrated, sharing sweat and inhaling each other’s stale breaths - we waited for the seven-person Canadian group to blow our minds. And they did. After a clip of Vanessa Redgrave’s version of “The Lusty Month of May” from Camelot, they exploded into “Month of May.” Playing a fabulous mix of old and new, they kept old and new fans happy, singing and dancing the entire time. Win Butler, lead singer, smiled the entire time and revealed to the audience that he had just celebrated his thirty first birthday. The smitten crowd proceeded to sing “Happy Birthday.” Unlike most bands, each member of Arcade Fire calls attention with her/his individuality and dynamic performances. Reginé Chassagne’s always-resplendent attire did not disappoint. She graced the stage in a sparkly gold dress. As if their stellar performances and adorably humble “thank yous” weren’t enough, the most memorable act of the entire festival occurred during their last song – giant white balls, two or three times the size of a large beach ball, armed with alternating blue, green and red lights leapt from the tip-top of the stage. It was magnificent. The crowd went insane. Reports from by-standers witnessed fans in the crowd grabbing balls and running away madly with their “prizes.” When the song ended, a canopy of balls covered the crowd. Barely able to see anything but balls and bodies, I managed to sneak peeks of the jumbotron and stage during the three-song encore. Yes, you heard me – three. The last song performed was thankfully “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).” While wearily driving along the 10 late Sunday night, we were reminded of this spectacular show as a car passed us with a giant, glowing, green orb nestled in the backseat.

Photo credit: Lauren Lloyd

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