This has been a long in coming review, and I apologize for the length. You should really blame the concert for having these bands all together in one evening.
When I first began my trip to Randall’s Island to see the big Arcade Fire/LCD Soundsystem/ Blonde Redhead/Les Savy Fav concert on 10/06/07…
…I was greeted with a long line that spanned a city block. People would look at the line, mutter some curses, and begin a journey to the back. Oh the tough life, hang in there hipster kids.
After finally getting herded to the island and securing a $7 drink in a plastic cup, Les Savy Fav was the first to see. Admittedly I love Les Savy Fav. In West Texas, as I was starved for music, they offered an unrivaled performance. It was the best show I’d seen there (for what it’s worth), the band ended up getting everyone on stage while the band played. I was looking forward to seeing the same kind of involved show. Tim Harrington, the lead singer, particularly has a lot to do with the dynamic shows. He has a quirky -personality and within minutes he was bounding off stage wandering the crowd, giving shirtless belly dances, pretending he’s friends with people, balancing food on his head, and eventually changing into a skin colored leotard. I really see him as the Zach Galifianakis of the music world, funny, chubby, weird, and bearded. That should be enough to get you to see them. Overall it was a great set. As Harrington runs around, the band in comparison seems shockingly normal and oblivious. I’m personally a fan of the noisy post-punk stylings, and so I enjoyed the show. Even if you’re not into screeching guitars and yelling, I really think their sound is better live…and in combination with Harrington…it’s something to see.
Now let me tell you how great Blonde Redhead was! [Review is missing due to waiting in line for an hour for a $10 burrito. Because of the overwhelming advances in food service, there were three lines to fulfill my dreams of eating a burrito. One for the money, with extra employees helping to take my wallet and in return giving out an empty tortilla. Then there were two other lines with one person apiece, offering different combination of toppings, of which you’d need to wait in both lines to fulfill the essence of burritoness. Servers slowly then filled said tortillas, wiping their faces with said money.]
LCD Soundsystem is great. I admit they’ve been neglected on my ipod for a while now, yet for no clear reason. This show renewed my interest. 25,000 people were doing the small shuffling of indie dancing and some even dared to go further into something similar to regular dancing. The shows even included a lit up disco ball. It was another high energy show, with two dueling drummers adding to the electronic beeps. Lead man James Murphy has a dry quiet humor which went over all during all the pauses, otherwise his yells and electronic thumping beats made the island ground shake.
Arcade Fire’s set will always be a religious experience. From the beginning of the show there are clips of televangelists, a giant projection of the neon bible, and a lit up pipe organ. During the show, a backup member is standing in front of the organ screaming his vocals like a street side preacher. There were times when the drummers were tossing their drums across the stage, beating them, then throwing them back to start again. Think what you will of the Arcade Fire’s sound, their music lends itself to a great show: Heavy drum beats, crowds of musicians, a booming pipe organ, some energetic songs, and a heavy emphasis on style. So like a big tent revival, you have people dancing in the grass, singing loudly, and more flailing.
All the while there were small screens set up all over the stage, giving flashes of performances, strange images, and more of the neon bible. In the middle of the crowd is a group with a box of glowsticks. They would reach their hands in and throw them up into the crowd, after which they’d be thrown back across the crowd. Little neon lights flashing up and down.
All in all you should try these people out if you haven’t yet. Particularly their shows. But if you can’t, I still recommend at least trying them out alone on your ipod while dancing, if that’s your style. Or just go eat a burrito.