By Jennie Orton
October 14, 2017
The human fight for dominance over the relentlessness of the digital age was given a stage show to be reckoned with Saturday night as Arcade Fire brought the Everything Now tour to the Pacific Coliseum. Named after the new album which expertly and at times devastatingly examines the withered husk dreams can become when up against the shrill excess of today’s world, the tour took the same assault on the senses and turned it from a disco dystopia to a throbbing dance floor defibrillation.
The old favorites were there and accounted for, most notable “Wake Up” which closed the show and created common ground in the form of a deafening singalong with the willing crowd. Or “Reflektor” which with its strutting saxophone and confident audacity gives you permission to indulge. But it was the new material that came alive on stage. The stage, dressed up to look like a boxing ring at the center of the general admission floor area, gave the band the change to submerge in the crowd and encompass the venue in the same way their music always does. Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, and their posse of immensely talented like-minds, explored the space and let the spinning stage allow for the swell of sound to be doled out to everyone in equal fashion. No one felt left out, there were no cheap seats; the show was so large that the enormity of it was inescapable from any corner. Which is fitting: the idea of needing Everything Now and measuring one’s propensity for bliss by their acquisitions could only be drowned out by being present for art. The small doses of gratification you get from a blinking screen were dwarfed by the proximity to live sound, as “Infinite Content” jostled you unflinchingly and “We Don’t Deserve Love” cornered you with your well-cultivated loneliness, the feeling of knowing the gift this band brings was vividly clear. It was a 22-song set of catchy, honest, and profound statements on the human condition, delivered to you within literal arms-length by people who not only understand the daily battle for peace, but who have found a way to embrace it with cathartic results.
It was a hard show to leave without feeling like you knew yourself a little bit better. And that you had shared something intimate with a group of artists you admire. It is a crazy world out there. Where we are trying our best to find a way to just make it painless. But we’re just a million little gods causing rain storms, turning every good thing to rust. I guess we’ll just have to adjust. Under the disco ball, amongst the Fire, the answers lay in wait.Arcade Fire, Pacific Coliseum