12:23pm PT by Emily Zemler
Arcade Fire Rocks From the Top of Capitol Records
Arcade Fire performed 12 songs on top of the Capitol Records building in Hollywood Tuesday evening in celebration of the release of their new album Reflektor. The show, presented by MTV Iggy and Intel's Music Experiment 2.0, was held for a crowd of contest winners, most clad in their interpretation of the dress code "Be a Reflektor."
The band played above a row of metallic streamers while the crowd gathered in the parking lot below in a fenced-in area between Vine and Argyle. The show caused shutdowns over several major streets in Hollywood during rush hour, revealing Arcade Fire's sizable power in the music industry right now. The band's new album, their fourth release, was out Tuesday via Merge. However, the album is a joint venture with Capitol, who is distributing and promoting the disc. Singer Win Butler was quick to affirm the Grammy-winning band's indie cred, however. "Our record came out today," Butler told the cheering crowd. "On Merge f---ing Records."
The majority of the set involved tracks off Reflektor, including "Here Comes the Night Time," "We Exist" and "Reflektor." As the band launched into recent single "Afterlife," Butler noted "I'd like to dedicate this song to Lou Reed." Later, the musicians tacked a segment from Reed's "Satellite of Love" onto their own track "Supersymmetry," paying further homage to the musician who clearly inspired their recent foray into disco-tinged glam rock. The band seemed to have little difficultly connecting with the audience throughout the 75-minute set, despite the vast space between the stage and the ground.
"I hope they didn't make you jump through too many hoops to get in here," Butler told the crowd, many of whom wore glitter, sequins and broken bits of CDs on their clothing. "Just kidding, I know they did. We own all of your personal information now."
Toward the end of the set, Arcade Fire offered a few older tracks, although those clearly weren't the focus of the performance. In a feigned encore, the band played "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)" and "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)," off their 2005 debut Funeral. Butler, who seemed moderately perplexed by the fact that Arcade Fire's career path had led him to the roof of Capitol Records, joked to fans that the real title of the final number was "I woke up and I was on top of a building in Los Angeles."
Tuesday's show was just one in a series of promotional moments Arcade Fire (and their labels) have created surrounding the release of Reflektor. The performance follows two "secret" shows in Brooklyn during the CMJ music festival where the band tricked the crowd with a false stage and leads into a more traditional club appearance at the Palladium tomorrow night. It was an iconic moment, certainly, as silver confetti blasted into the air around the Capitol building during "Here Comes the Night Time" and passersby crowded around the fences surrounding the event. It was also a visual symbol of the fact that while Butler may continue to assert Arcade Fire's indie status, the band is very much involved with a major and the success of Reflektor is clearly linked with the notable building they performed atop last night.