Fresh off the release of their latest infinitely hyped album Reflektor, hipster gods of Arcade Fire took to the Palladium for an instantly sold-out, moderately secret show on Halloween in Hollywood.
There were Marios, there were Luigis, there were anonymous members of the You’re Next household murder gang; really, the list goes on and on. This was a show made for Halloween. The inebriated audience was about as varied as it gets in the best possible way, and everyone was there for one obvious reason.
Donning the obvious misdirect name “The Reflektors,” Arcade Fire took to the stage around 9:30 p.m., knocking straight into the eponymously titled track. And with that, the crowd went off. The dance party for Arcade Fire wasn’t quite a surprise, but its sustained demeanor after the dancey first track proved both exciting and surprising.
Those hoping for a myriad of discographic hits were left shrugging and mildly disappointed as this was, for all intensive purposes, an album release show. The James Murphy-produced latest album, Reflektor, is certainly more dance oriented than Arcade Fire's previous releases, and I doubt that the crowd had any qualms about that. It was quite a scene seeing drunk characters from all colors and walks of life dancing to the Canadian band's latest album without a worry in the world. Being present at this show was a privilege for everyone in attendance.
The Palladium, moderately sized and historic in all the right ways, proved a suitable foe for the crowd, never seeming too overcrowded or overwhelmed. With the exception of the anxiety, inducing quarter mile-long beer lines, the lubricated crowd stayed in the moment throughout the band’s entire hour-plus set. Supplementing the music nicely was a veritable glitter bomb that went off near the end of the set to the audience's amazement and amusement.
Those hoping to hear “Wake Up” or other flashier tracks from the band’s previous releases were left high and dry. However, after walking off stage in a predictable fashion, the band came back to play several more colorful tracks, including "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)," to close their impressive but underwhelming set.
As the sea of exhausted, costumed Angelenos left the building, it became clear that this Arcade Fire show was more of a Reflektor show. In retrospect, this became slightly more obvious given the intimate location, bill-listed headliner and spur of the moment announcement.
And that’s okay. Arcade Fire fans are about as diehard as they come, and there’s a tremendous amount of respect that comes with that level of dedication. When one is moderately disappointed, a dozen others have the best nights of their lives.