Show Review: Arcade Fire @ Hollywood Bowl, 9/20/2007

After LCD Soundsystem’s too-short set, it was time for the Arcade Fire. I was pretty excited to see them at this point. I missed the show at Spreckle’s Theater last spring for a variety of reasons, including the fact that their music on record never really made me feel what most other people feel when they listen to it. There’s no question in my mind that it’s good, that they write soaring melodies and great lyrics, but there’s always been a sort of emotional disconnect for me. It’s the same way I felt after reading Catcher in the Rye and On the Road – these were books that should have connected with me. I understood the point to them, the greater meaning, and could clearly see how they were genius, but there was some gap in wavelength that just wasn’t being bridged. Having heard so much about the band’s live show, I had high hopes that seeing them live would make it all make sense.

However, it was not to be. It’s not that the show wasn’t great, or that the chill to the air wasn’t perfect for their sound. Perhaps it was the nosebleed seats, or seeing the band in a much less intimate setting than most people have before. Maybe it was having seen The Decemberists play a life-altering show with the LA Philharmonic in the same venue just a few months prior. Who knows? Maybe I’m just not that into the band, and it wasn’t meant to be.

That’s not to say that I didn’t get chills down my spine at a few points during the show – most notably during “No Cars Go,” when the chorus-punctuating “Hey!” was heard in stereo from audience members yelling it on cue all around me. And that’s not to say that I won’t go see them again, although I think I’ll stick to smaller venues, at least until the band learns to transition the intimacy of their show to larger audiences.