Arcade Fire @ American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

Let me get something off of my chest right off the bat.  Dallas...you were disappointing on so many levels.  I know Dallas can be a prima donna and hates to go out on weeknights, but the sheer lack of enthusiasm for Arcade Fire's visit to the American Airlines Center was appalling.  I don't want to paint Dallas in a bad light, as they are one of many cities not embracing the current tour from Arcade Fire.  Half empty arenas have been reported, with Tampa selling less than 4,000 tickets at the USF Sun Dome, whose capacity sits just above 10,000; that was Arcade Fire's first visit to Tampa as well.  The show in Dallas did not fair any better, as the 300-level was entirely blacked out and only a handful of patrons in the 200-level seats.  The floor of the AAC filled nicely, as did the 100-level seating but visually, it was a disappointment to see.  As bad as it this sounds, let me not detract from the fact that this was easily my favorite show I have seen this year.

I can see why fans are not embracing the band's latest release, Everything Now.  I get it.  It's not FuneralNeon Bible, or The Suburbs for that matter.  But that's not a bad thing.  The new sound only adds an element to an already established, critically-acclaimed band.  And that was clearly evident at the American Airlines Center.  Marching to the stage much like heavyweight fighters, the large ensemble that is Arcade Fire took the stage inside of a boxing ring and kicked the night off with the lead single from their release, which shares its namesake, "Everything Now".  From the opening keyboard notes, you knew this show was going to be special.  The crowd embraced the song and danced wildly, singing in unison as if it were a classic Arcade release.  While the band did perform seven songs from Everything Now, which might have displeased some older fans, you would have been hard-pressed to noticed it during this show.  For most, it only gave the crowd an excuse to not stop dancing the entire time.

The band did pull out all of the stops and performed tracks from all of their studio albums, so no fan was left wanting.  Songs like "Rebellion (Lies)" and "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" from Funeral were well-received, but so were songs like "Reflektor" and "Afterlife".  To say Arcade Fire's setlist is now a hodgepodge of randomness might not be entirely accurate but the diversity of their sound has definitely expanded and their catalog is better for it.  Their show absolutely is better for it.  I cannot remember a time during this show I wasn't either dancing in place or singing the lyrics to a song.  I saw KISS the night before this show (which was sold out, mind you) and the two concerts didn't even compare.  I love KISS but at times during their show, I became bored because I knew what was coming.  With Arcade Fire's show, I was mesmerized and in total awe of not only their spectacular production, but by the pure amount of energy and showmanship the band was exhibiting.  It was infectious.

Looking around as the band was closing their set, everyone who was in attendance at the beginning of the was still in their seat.  No one had left.  So when the band started playing their closer, "Wake Up", the crowd only got louder and sang as loud as possible.  Even openers Wolf Parade had made their way to the stage to help finish this show with a bang.  In all honesty, I don't think anyone was bothered by the fact that the arena was more than half empty, especially the band.  Not one shred of evidence showed that it bothered them.  They played in front of thousands of their fans and I think that's what it's all about.  The total number shouldn't matter, the fact they were playing the music they wanted to play did.  And it showed.

Photos of the show are below:

enjoy.
Arcade Fire @ American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX Arcade Fire @ American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 1:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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