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Arcade Fire treated a room of devotees to an intimate set at Capitol Records studios in Hollywood on Monday night. The exclusive event, broadcast to NPR stations nationwide via Los Angeles’ KCRW, came a day ahead of the release of Reflektor, the band’s highly anticipated fourth album, and featured much of its track list, albeit not in sequential order.
The hourlong performance also gave a nod to the late Lou Reed, who died on Sunday from complications related to a liver transplant earlier this year. Evoking two classics from Reed’s 1972 solo album Transformer, the band segued into somber snippets of “Perfect Day” and “Satellite of Love,” the latter during album closer “Supersymmetry.”
The tribute had some audience members in tears.
For much of the night, frontman Win Butler let the music do the talking, though he did acknowledge at one point how far Arcade Fire had come. “It’s not too different from Spaceland,” he said, referencing the popular indie rock club just a few miles away in L.A.’s Silver Lake neighborhood. “Only there’s 10 million people listening.”
Those limited to audio of the performance didn’t get to see the raucous scene inside the famed underground recording complex. The band insisted on foregoing risers so that they could be among the people. And were they ever. Butler riled up the crowd by jumping into it while his half-dozen bandmates kept the beat bouncing with a steady pump of the fists.
It didn’t take much to amp up this industry-heavy audience, however. Not only were the many executives in attendance invested in the project — Capitol Music Group is providing marketing and promotion support in partnership with Merge Records — but Reflektor is already receiving rave reviews from fans and critics alike.
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