A sign outside AAC Thursday night read, "Tonight's performance will feature heavy amounts of strobe lighting."
A sign outside AAC Thursday night read, "Tonight's performance will feature heavy amounts of strobe lighting."
Mike Brooks

Arcade Fire Did Its Best to Fight Its Way Into the Mainstream at Arena Show

Arcade Fire
with Wolf Parade
American Airlines Center, Dallas
Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017

For a band that doesn’t play Top 40 standards, Arcade Fire fits remarkably well in an arena setting. The group commanded the American Airlines Center on Thursday night. The band is on its “Infinite Content” tour, 

promoting its latest LP, Everything Now. As evidenced by the 20-song set, Win Butler and his band — who were joined by three touring musicians — loved playing with the concept of an arena show.

The square-shaped stage was in the center of the AAC floor, below four video screens, and there were boxing ring ropes around it.  A ring announcer even heralded the band's arrival at 9 p.m. by the voice of a ring announcer, as if they were competitors about to fight.  But instead of a brawl, Arcade Fire delivered a balanced show that represented all five of its albums equally.

From the apocalyptic disco of Reflektor and Everything Now to the ghostly hymns of Neon Bible and the mysterious joy of Funeral, Arcade Fire showed it can make its audience gyrate or stop them dead in their tracks, but never lose their attention.

Arcade Fire fans wait outside AAC.
Arcade Fire fans wait outside AAC.
Mike Brooks

There was not much room for banter between sets, but Win did take time to thank the crowd and share a few stories. He dedicated “The Suburbs” to the Houston area he and his brother Will grew up in, as well as other areas recently hit by hurricanes, including Puerto Rico and Haiti.

Arcade Fire deserved to play one of the biggest venues in Dallas, but it may never become fully mainstream.  The floor of American Airlines Center was full Thursday night, and there were plenty of people in seats throughout the first two levels, but there were a handful of sections closed off or unsold. Nevertheless, the band showed it's happy to stroll on the shoreline of the mainstream.

Setlist
“Everything Now”
“Signs of Life”
“Rebellion (Lies)”
“Here Comes the Night Time”
“No Cars Go”
“Electric Blue”
“Put Your Money on Me”
“Neon Bible”
“My Body Is a Cage”
“Intervention”
“The Suburbs”
“Ready to Start”
“Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”
“Reflektor”
“Afterlife”
“Creature Comfort”
“Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)”
Encore:
“We Don't Deserve Love”
“Everything Now (Continued)”
“Wake Up”

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