Arcade Fire @ Scunthorpe Baths Hall, Scunthorpe – 7th June 2017

Posted by Gig Junkies on Wednesday Jun 7, 2017 Under Art Rock, Indie, Rock

Review and photography by Mark Loraine.

The headlines were huge, one of the biggest bands in the world were coming to play in Scunthorpe, yes Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire, in England. Arcade Fire hadn’t played in England for nearly 3 years and now they were breaking that drought with a trip to Scunthorpe. Up to this point dear Reader Scunthorpe had really only been known as the butt of many a joke, but on the 7th June 2017 they were hosting one of the biggest bands on the planet. Who would have believed it!

Mark Loraine Arcade Fire land-1

As a result of Arcade Fire playing such a small venue (1400 capacity) the tickets were like gold dust and so when I got my pass I had so many offers to carry my camera bag, I wish I could have helped people out. The clamour to get into this gig was so intense and the fever for the gig increased for me when I walked through the door and saw Arcade Fire were playing in the round – awesome.

Mark Loraine Arcade Fire land-5

Mark Loraine Arcade Fire land-8

Arcade Fire are, of course, from Canada, there are seemingly 6 full time members, some of them family by blood and some family by marriage and some seem to have just become attached, a bit like a perfectly, but accidentally put together orchestra, an orchestra of many (I counted nine, but I suspect there were more). So tonight, the stage set in the centre of the venue was full, full of people, full of equipment and absolutely bang full of incredible musicianship…this was going to be a night to remember.

The band came on stage after some seriously good tunes blasting from the PA, ‘Psycho Killer’ was one that stood out, and it stood out because Arcade Fire are, for me, the natural successor to the Talking Heads. Both bands are seriously funky, both bands are incredibly eclectic and both bands are frenetic in their live performance.

The first song out of the bag was brand new, ‘Everything New’ which is their latest single and is the title of their upcoming album release. Interestingly all around the venue the Everything Now phrase was on banners much like you would see in a North Korean brain-washing putsch….as a marketing message goes this was very, very direct !

From that very moment on the band played a really mixed set, two further new songs appeared alongside fourteen old favourites, Haiti one of my particular favourites came next and from there samples of all the Arcade Fire albums appeared, culminating in a shock for the audience when Win Butler asked the lighting guys to turn the lights off and asked the audience to switch their phone lights on…the effect was eerie and really helped with the song because the next tune was ‘Reflektor’.

Never has a track been so suited to the atmosphere in the venue and as the band played quietly, gently and in a very stripped back manner the night was truly capped off. Other songs followed, but this I feel really completed what was a very, very special gig for all present.

Mark Loraine Arcade Fire land-36

Mark Loraine Arcade Fire land-32

Away from this gig being superb, I spent some of the time pondering what Arcade Fire are and I came to a conclusion. Arcade Fire are a music factory. That doesn’t mean they churn stuff out, far from it ! No, they are slick, smooth and are so capable that it really suggests that these guys have decided that all they will do is produce quality music, using whatever instrument and invention it takes.

Mark Loraine Arcade Fire land-27

Mark Loraine Arcade Fire land-16

I for one would love to be a fly on a wall when this band have a practice session and the fight over instruments starts. I can just imagine, “Right guys, what instrument do you want to play today ?” “Okay, but you are going to have to change twice in this song, so start on guitar, but you will play bass and synthesizer during the verse” This musical chairs, literally, really illustrates the multi-instrument musicianship that Arcade Fire possess, from violin, to Korg, to guitar, the list goes on and what comes out is pure bliss, wrapped in funk and electronica and finally dipped in a bit of disco.

That mix tonight gelled so well and the audience at Scunthorpe Baths Hall will never, ever forget the night Arcade Fire came to town.

Everything Now
Here Comes the Nighttime
No Cars Go
Black Mirror
Neon Bible
Ready To Start
Sprawl 2
After Life
We Exist
Creature Comfort
Power Out
Wake Up

Signs of Life

One Response to “Arcade Fire @ Scunthorpe Baths Hall, Scunthorpe – 7th June 2017”

  1. john bentley Says:

    Sounds like a splendid event and what an amazing ‘in the round’ venue. Great review and photos.

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