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Reflekting on myself: dancing next to Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire at the United Center Tuesday Aug. 26

Arcade Fire at the United Center Tuesday Aug. 26

A revolving disco ball teddy bear sent spectators rays of light from the middle of the United Center, as Arcade Fire performed “Afterlife” off their latest album, “Reflektor” from across the arena Tuesday night. Later, lead female vocalist Regine Chassagne took the platform on which the teddy bear earlier stood, and sang with a group of dancing skeletons.

After performing “It’s Never Over (Hey Orpheus),” Chassagne ran past my section (her gold dress shining in the light), towards the stage where the band then performed a personal favorite, “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).”

Arcade Fire requested that its audience members arrive in formal attire or costume to participate in the visual spectacle of the show.


Although vibrant lighting and costume were a significant focus on the show’s visuals, the pop-up platform in the middle of the United Center stole the eyes of Arcade Fire’s audience.

But of course, the audience’s main concern was hearing its favorite Arcade Fire tracks. Frontman Win Butler did most of the talking throughout the show, and prefaced the band’s very first song in an accidental, but original way. He proclaimed his pride in an energetic Monday crowd – after which he exclaimed, “Oh, it’s Tuesday? I don’t know what day it is. I don’t even know what year it is – but it feels like 1993.”

The band wrote their first song in 1993, and endowed it with that year’s name. Butler’s mistake transitioned Arcade Fire to their next song, and a wave of audience hands shot through the air.

“One day, you’ll be up on this stage,” said Butler, almost as a message from God to me. The word, “stage,” has different meanings for different audience members. But to me, it actually means, “stage” as I myself aspire to entertain with my own music.

Arcade Fire emits support for its spectators.

The concert was full of movement – not only from Arcade Fire’s many characters and musicians, but also from the audience. One of Arcade Fire’s openers, Dan Deacon, encouraged the ground floor audience to split down the middle, and to pick two captains whose dance moves they would mimic. Deacon is an electronic composer who synthesizes and distorts his voice to accompany an electronic dance beat.

Before Deacon, Devo took the stage and spread its own robotic dance moves along with its philosophies of “Freedom of Choice” throughout the United Center.

Arcade Fire took beautiful advantage of a large space, shining hexagonal mirrors across the arena to reflect their own philosophies of politics and suburban life on their art.

How do you express yourself?


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