ACL Live Shots
Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, Fri., Sept. 23, 2011
Arcade FireZilker Park, Sept. 18
Only one word can describe Arcade Fire's Sunday night ACL capper: perfect. The Montreal-by-way-of-Houston octet was nothing but pure energy from start to finish with the balletic Will Butler on keyboard, snare, and various stage antics to Régine Chassagne's quirky interpretive dance. The band bolted out of the gates "Ready To Start," frontman Win Butler gushing, "We love Austin and had to beg them to let us play." The set list hit all the right notes from the band's catalog, including most of the "Neighborhood" series and "Haiti" from 2004's Funeral and Neon Bible's bookends of "Keep the Car Running" and "No Cars Go." Yet it was the pensive, soured nostalgia of the current material, including "The Suburbs," "Rococo," and "We Used To Wait," that packed the heaviest emotional wallop. Arcade Fire's set amplified a heart-wrenching tension between remarkable musicianship and sharp-eyed lyrics about being a better person while accepting one's mortality. Perfect.