Dusting off our Win & Regine Costumes for Arcade Fire

14 Apr

winandregine

A month after we dressed up as our favorite living rock couple for Halloween, we purchased pit tickets for their April show. We had five months to get hyped up about our 4th Arcade Fire show together*, with three hours of build-up to get our expectations sky-high. Maybe too high. Sure, my hair looked more like Macklemore than Win. And yes, songs that moved us to tears last time got us jumping**, but didn’t stir up that magic feeling inside us. But it was still a special night. We had extensive conversations about “Six Feet Under” with new friends we met before the show. We were two arms lengths away from Win again. We saw our favorite songs off our favorite non-Beyonce album of 2013 performed so brilliantly that we fell even deeper in love with them. We heard some deep cuts we never thought we’d hear live. It wasn’t the perfect show, but with a Funeral heavy set-list, two sweet covers and everything from Rick Perry TV heads to a Disco Ball man and getting to see Caitlin be Regine’s Reflektor shaking her ribbons, it was pretty darn close to perfect in my book.

*Individually, I’ve seen the band 7 times now, and Zack has seen them 5 times. We’re fans, to say the least.

**More like shuffling, really, given the amount of room we had to move.

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Photo courtesy of Ultra8201

We left the apartment in costume at 4:30 p.m. and Arcade Fire took the stage around 9:15 p.m. In between, we had a “This is enjoyable enough, but I wouldn’t see them on their own” set from Lost Bayou Ramblers* and a “We can barely hear this and we’re not sad to miss it” DJ set from Koala Kid**. We also met a couple brothers who we were happy to kill time with, discussing everything from that one really messed up episode of “Six Feet Under” to good Tex Mex in San Antonio.  Finally, the band came out and it was incredibly entertaining right off the bat. We knew Arcade Fire would come out in their giant paper mache heads, but Win in a cowboy outfit and some other dude in a Rick Perry head (video here) was a nice local touch for the Houston-raised frontman. Just as good a call was opening with “Normal Person***.”

*It was very Cajun, sung in that New Orleans French, and it was interesting, but I’d say about four songs in everything started to sound the same.

**Koala Kid was set up behind the pit, on a small stage at the back of those of us who had posted up early for ringside seats, and just wasn’t good enough to warrant us flipping around to watch. I honestly enjoyed whatever playlist they had going prior to the Lost Bayou Ramblers better.

***To be a little nit-picky, the “opening song” was a rendition of “Deep in the Heart of Texas” by the non-band paper mache head-wearers. If there’s one thing about Texans that will always be true, it’s that we all know when to clap for that song, and that we always will.

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Photo courtesy of Ultra8201

I was all ready to say how “Rebellion (Lies)” was more powerful last time because it was later in the set and that the build-up made for a more emotional release, but I looked it up and it was the second song at the Bee Caves show as well. So I’m stuck guessing at why it didn’t pack the same punch this time around*. Still, it was gorgeous and we leapt up and down** and then danced as much as we could, while packed in pretty tight, during “Reflektor.” Win was especially cheeky during “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)”. When the crowd sang the callback of, “We found the light!” he smiled and said, “I know.”

*I was the one who suggested that maybe “Rebellion (Lies)” had come later in the previous show, because it just didn’t feel like we were ready to give it our all this time around. In retrospect, I think it’s because Win came down to get close to the crowd right out of the gate, causing us all to smush in together and preventing a lot of really enthusiastic dancing that I desperately wanted to embrace.

**Ish.

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Photo courtesy of Ultra8201

The older songs that I expected to be my favorite were beautiful and moving as always, but the two that really knocked me on my ass were “Afterlife” and “Here Comes the Night Time.” The first was kicked off with a reworked version of “My Body is a Cage,” and only the first couple of verses were sung before we launched into “Afterlife” proper. It was the biggest dance party of the night, as far as I could tell, and it’s just such a killer song. The message is sweet but sad, like a pleading lullaby. Then, in the encore and right after a Prince cover, “Here Comes the Night Time” continued the dance-party vibe, as all of the costumed fans boogied down until that moment where the confetti canons* exploded in a mess of happiness and color. Ending on one of the loudest “Wake Up” sing-alongs I’ve ever been a part of was the cherry on top. In the moment, when Zack asked what I’d rate the show, I said 8.8**, because I wasn’t able to lose myself as immediately and deliriously as the Bee Caves performance. At that show, I felt a more direct connection with the band; Zack and I made eye contact with Win throughout, and I think I was also a little disappointed that the band didn’t see our costumes, because I doubt too many other fans have dressed up like them at the shows. However, I have not stopped thinking about this show and how badly I want to transport myself back to it since it ended. It was a slow-burn, one of those experiences that sinks in over time and takes you over. The setlist was amazing, the band was on point, and the crowd was one of the friendliest I’ve ever been in, in my whole concert-going life. Arcade Fire consistently brings out the best people to share in the magic, and that’s magic in itself.

*Confetti canons should end everything. Concerts, sporting events, Tuesdays at work. 

**It was always 9.4-9.6 range for me. I like to think of the number scores as grades and this was most certainly an A. 

Watch the entire Coachella set list from three nights later:

SETLIST:
Normal Person
Rebellion (Lies)
Reflektor
Flashbulb Eyes
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
The Suburbs
The Suburbs (Continued)
Ready to Start
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
No Cars Go
We Exist
Afterlife
It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus)
Heart of Glass (Blondie cover)
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
Encore:
Controversy (Prince cover)
Here Comes the Night Time
Wake Up

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