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Last Night

Arcade Fire - Capitol Records Building - October 29, 2013

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Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 10:17 AM

click to enlarge Arcade Fire performs live from Capitol Records building in Hollywood, for MTV Iggy and Intel's Music Experiment 2.0 - MARCUS HANEY
  • Marcus Haney
  • Arcade Fire performs live from Capitol Records building in Hollywood, for MTV Iggy and Intel's Music Experiment 2.0
Arcade Fire

Capitol Records

October 29, 2013

Remember when Arcade Fire sounded like Thunder Road-era Springsteen? They don't sound like that anymore.

Yesterday evening, several thousand bundled Angelenos descended upon a parking lot in Hollywood to hear the Canadian band's new-ish sound. Reflektor, their fourth album, was released yesterday to reviews both fawning and gleefully cruel. But whatever the case, it's what drew everyone to the front of Capitol Records to watch the band play on a rooftop.

So, was it good?

The crowd was certainly ready; they were encouraged to "be a Reflektor," which meant lots of shiny silver and gold outfits. They embraced this spirit -- it helped that it's Halloween week -- and there were many silver jackets, sequins, sparkles, wigs and masks. A few people decorated themselves with CDs, one guy was wearing one of those silver Myler thermal blankets as a cape, and another dude just taped a mirror to his back.

click to enlarge Reflektors - KATIE BAIN
  • Katie Bain
  • Reflektors
Everyone who got into the event had done so via social media, and at 6pm, the line snaked down partially closed Argyle Street as helicopters hovered overhead. Guests at the Redbury Hotel across Vine stood on their balconies to watch the show, and those who didn't get in were able to see portions of the concert last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

The band, all seven of them, came out onto the roof at 6:40, just after sunset, dressed in various gold and silver suits and dresses. They launched straight into the album's title track and lead single, illustrating their now-dancier sound.

While Funeral and Neon Bible featured full-on 'ridin' out tonight to case the promised land' anthems, 2010's The Suburbs found the group in a mellower state of nostalgia. If their first albums focused on taking on the world, The Suburbs went home again.

click to enlarge MARCUS HANEY
  • Marcus Haney
Reflektor, then, deals with the malaise and isolation of our media-saturated world and the philosophical questions raised by getting older in it. The album thumps more deeply and darkly than their previous work.

Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that it was co-produced by James Murphy of LCD Soundystem, who gave the LP a foundation of four on the floor synth, with moments of Black Keys-ish blues guitar rock.

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