Sunday, October 10, 2010

Arcade Fire vs. James

Within the past two weeks, I've been fortunate enough to hit two of the best shows I've ever seen—both quite different from one another. A week and half ago, thanks to @Upto12, I was able to see Calexico and Arcade Fire at the Rose Quarter in Portland. If you haven't heard much about this tour yet, our friends from up north have basically been lighting up and burning down nearly-filled colosseums across the nation—and this night was no exception.

Though it started out with a couple of very "good" tracks from their newest album The Suburbs—it wasn't 'til opening strums of the fourth song Haiti that they fully came alive. Their energy-level, passion and riotous rocking only increased from that point on. Seeing them live (again) only validated Upto12's point from a recent discussion.

Though I absolutely love both The Suburbs and Neon Bible—it's the tracks from Funeral that send me (and everyone else in the venue) straight into rock concert bliss. It's not that they're necessarily better tunes—they simply perform them in a way that is undeniably exuberant. The proof's here.

Five days later Mrs. Kyality and I caught the James sound check and show at a ridiculous new venue here in SLC. Despite the drab, cinder-block box that is The Complex, the classic Brit-Poppers—visually stunned by the SLC fandom—put on an amazingly energetic and spontaneous show. A minor equipment failure led to an impromptu unplugged session and later a guitar solo was forfeited for a fantastic feedback fight with a fiddle. It's these kind of nuances that make a little concert in a crap venue end up as one of the best yet.
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