I know, I know. By now we all have heard from all of our annoying hipster friends, myself included, that the newest release by Arcade Fire, "The Suburbs", is the best album to ever grace the human ear. Well, it's hard to praise an album with such high regard when it's hard to dismiss the critical acclaim and commercial success it has achieved. That is, however, until you have seen the band live to understand the artistic quality as well as overall professionalism that goes into the hard work they have put in towards being the internationally recognized "indie rock" octet that they have become. Then, one can sympathize with their worldwide acceptance.
This past Thursday the 7th and Friday the 8th of October, 2010 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA (right next to the USC campus) "the band of a generation" put on two shows in consecutive nights that will not soon be forgotten to those lucky Los Angelinos who were able to find tickets. It seemed like the show was incredibly intimate, exclusive, and personal, and only the VIP of LA natives attended. Considering the size of the venue isn't nearly the size of the Greek Theatre or Hollywood Bowl, it seemed very exclusive as fan to be seeing the same band who sold out Madison Square Garden one month prior at the same venue that hosts the OSCARS and BET awards.
"The Suburbs" may not be the best album ever, however, the balance of hauntingly nostalgic lyrics and epic harmonies leaves us with nothing but an emotional pit in our stomach that can only be identified as personal association and overall understanding that we have lost a sense of identity since our youth, yet we have gained something in return, and what we have gained is often times something we can't describe.
So, listening to "The Suburbs" is not the same as listening to a good album. It goes beyond just hearing a good song on the radio that makes you feel like singing along with the chorus. It takes you to a place you remember as a child but could never get back. It brings purpose to all of those conversations we've had with old friends where we reminisce of "the good old days", and how we wish we could experience and appreciate our innocence once again and for all of time.
As far as the concert, the epic nature of the music and orchestral style did not fall short of it's reputation, and can only be understood and appreciated by seeing them live with one's own eyes and ears. The concert enveloped the theme of their album with a hypnotic light show and video displays, as well as just reminding us that this is a rock show, and we are here for one reason only: to sing along and dance until our heads fall off.
This video, however, is the best I can do to prove such a memorable event took place. I recommend all, whether you like their music or not, to be advantageous in taking the opportunity to see this band at least once in their life. You will not be disappointed.
More videos to come.