On Saturday Night, Montreal-natives Arcade Fire performed at Parc Jean Drapeau to a near capacity of 35,000 fans. The band made the hometown show the last one on this year-long tour, and gave it all they had and more. After many fans in line had been fortunate enough them as ‘The Reflektors’ at the Salsathèque (a 100-capacity club in downtown Montreal), it only seemed fitting to have their last show at the iconic park.
The night began with Fraka, a group hailing from Montreal. The band eased through their set with Caribbean dance vibes and enthusiasm, which kept the already packed crowd on their feet. The group was spirited, joyful and lively and left the crowd eager for more to come.
Up next was Austin indie quintet Spoon. Opening with “Don’t You Evah”, the group performed to a friendly crowd and brought atmospheric vibes. Singer Britt Daniel’s voice sounds just as it does on the record, with gravelling vocals and soft undertones engaging the crowd with anthems such as “Don’t Make Me a Target” and “Inside Out”. The band breezed through their 40-minute set filling the sweet air with echoing riffs and dream-like vocals.
Before Dan Deacon’s set, there was anticipation. As more formally dressed fans packed into the park all waiting to see a band they have watched grow within recent years. As Dan Deacon began his set, he was appreciative to have been part of the tour. Minutes into his set, he attempted to create a dance circle (which has been done at all the past shows) but since the crowd was packed, he opted for a different way of getting the crowd involved. This time, he asked two people to sit on the barrier down the middle and directed the crowd to mimic whatever the person on your side was doing. The crowd was more than content to do so and followed along. Deacon’s set was one to remember, a dance party for tens of thousands of people all enjoying the last days of summer.
The wait for Arcade Fire truly began, with 10 minutes in between Deacon’s DJ set and that of the Montreal band, the crowd began packing in. Showing up a few minutes past the scheduled time, Arcade fire went on stage to reclaim their hometown. Beginning with the album’s title track Reflektor, the group’s last show ensured that it would be the best one.
Songs from Reflektor sounded just as they do when you play the double-LP, the band performed favourites such as “Joan of Arc” and “We Exist” to an energetic and loving crowd. Within the 2 hour set, the band performed the band’s first hit; Rebellion (Lies) which prompted Will Butler to put on his bobble head and bang the drum alongside his brother. The set also included a crowd favourite such as The Suburbs which saw Win Butler tearing up nearing the end of the track.
One of the best tracks of the nightt had to be Sprawl II, taken from the bands 3rd album The Suburbs (2010), the performance by the sweet and vibrant Régine Chassagne, got the crowd involved. Chassagne twirled along the stage with streamers, motioning them in a heart for her beloved city.
Another favourite nearing the end of the set was Normal Person. The first track of the encore had many onstage including the band’s bobble heads and Celine Dion. Many of security were giving quick, confused glances as to what was occurring onstage, but to the 35,000 fans this was nothing out of the ordinary. After Celine Dion and the bobble heads came on, the band itself started the track which started a friendly moshpit on my side, but also got the whole park of people going. The band seemed grateful to be back in their hometown, after an extensive tour it was nice to play to friends.
The second last song was Here Comes The Night Time, Win teased the crowd by going on the smaller stage while confetti shot out through every direction possible, making this a memorable moment for everyone.
Now was the time to say farewell, but not before performing the band’s most popular track from their debut album Funeral (2004). Wake Up live was a nostalgic moment for most fans who have seen the band many times before. Filled with energy but heartache, this was the best performance of night.
Then it was time, the band walked off stage filled with gratitude but also sorrow, blowing kisses, hugging crew members and waving to the crowd, the band exited the stage for a final time.
Much after the show, the fans trilled the chorus of Wake Up while filtering in the metro station nearby. Arcade Fire is one of those bands that create a sense of unity between others, after their best performance filled with fireworks and ringing choruses there was a stillness that fell over Parc Jean Drapeau, leaving fans eager for more.