Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Sept. 30, 2005
Zilker Park, Sept. 25
Things overheard during the Arcade Fire show: A couple breaking up; a man exclaiming that he "wants to live again!"; a college-aged man boasting his score on the video game 187 Ride or Die. These topics of life, death, and rebirth just so happen to be central themes in Arcade Fire's storied album Funeral, and despite the suspect sound on the Cingular stage, the Montreal collective still sounded 10 feet tall. Dressed in their Amish Sunday best (or maybe it's more Mennonite chic), they ripped through Funeral's huge "Wake Up," "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)," and "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)," wielding accordion, violin, brass, and percussion. Dashing singer Win Butler crooned the Bowie-ish "No Cars Go" (graced by Bowie himself recently during CMJ), and his wife, Régine, floated through the all-French torch song "Haiti" with childlike gestures. By the time "Headlights Look Like Diamonds" rolled around, Butler was fellating a limp mic and his brother was rolling on the floor. Their sold-out January show at Emo's was definitely more intimate, but they screamed in unison and sweated through their clothes like whores in church, and that's really what every good rock & roll show needs.