Arcade Fire’s evolution from orchestral indie darlings to disco tricksters shouldn’t be quite as surprising as detractors may claim. If debut album Funeral was a lush urban fairytale of horns and strings, the group’s immediate and profound ascent to mainstream adoration would serve as the fuel for its following records. The baroque 19th-century ink on the cover of Funeral gave way to the gaudy, marquee anti-TV evangelism of Neon Bible, with future efforts taking stabs at middle-class malaise (The Suburbs) and beyond. July release Everything Now doesn’t just address a single, specific target, but our entire ecosystem of information. To promote, the band touted a fake Rock Band videogame, a Stereogum-skewing pop culture site and their own brand of fidget spinners. The Montreal-bred ensemble had succumbed to multi-media exhaustion that leaves no website or trend unturned.
Live, that consumption, that enormity, that avalanche of synth and neon, scales new heights of performance art—especially at a venue as legendary as Madison Square Garden. Photographer Adam McCullough captured the show from earlier this month in the gallery above, and it is glorious and bittersweet.
“No Cars Go”
“Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)”