With Spoon and Owen Pallett
New album "The Suburbs" again makes the case for Arcade Fire as one of the most successfully grandiose bands in music, indie or otherwise. While lighter-hearted (and less Springsteeny) than their previous effort, "Neon Bible," the familiar, high-drama ingredients are all in play: sweeping string arrangements, propulsive melodies, lyrical themes of sweet/bittersweet childhood nostalgia and grown-up ennui.
The band's Wednesday night show—their first of two at New York's Madison Square Garden—was a big city affair, complete with JumboTron projections and frontman Win Butler running his ass around the Jonas-sized stage.
Opener Spoon, who share a home with Arcade at indie juggernaut Merge Records, battled technical misfires and an indifferent crowd during a career-spanning set that featured a full horn section.