Arcade Fire have been making headlines in the last couple weeks with less-than-impressed responses to their latest record, Everything Now. Some have critiqued the marketing strategy behind the record as being too satirical and sarcastic, arguing that the band had lost exactly what made them Arcade Fire—passion, sincerity, emotion—but little do those critics know, those things never went away. The proof is in any of the band’s live performances—the latest and greatest example comes in the form of Arcade Fire’s Lollapalooza-closing set, which you can watch above.
The ensemble proved once again that they are indeed driven by passion, emotion and sincerity, and that’s what makes them one of the best festival headliners out there. The band opened up with the title track off of the latest record, “Everything Now,” and we’d dare anyone to try and say it lacked any emotion or sincerity. The entire setlist was a perfectly curated playlist from the band’s entire catalog, reeling in early anthems like “Rebellion (Lies),” “No Cars Go” and “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains),” with newer tracks effortlessly weaved in between.
Arcade Fire aren’t able to put on a live show without absolute heart and we were reminded of that through their Lollapalooza set. The entire performance had a whimsical feeling to it as the band was surrounded by dozens of pastel balloons and each member had undeniable grins on their face. The band concluded their set with a special cover of John Lennon’s “Mind Games,” which also included snippets of Radiohead’s “Karma Police” and Arcade Fire’s own anthemic ballad “Wake Up,” which made for an emotional and cathartic finish.
Check out the band’s Lollapalooza set above. You can also read our not-so-harsh review of Everything Now here and our list of Arcade Fire’s 15 best songs here.