It’s been a while since I’ve seen Arcade Fire
, and it’s been even longer since they last stepped onto a stage in Houston, so this show was a long time coming. In the five years since I first saw the Canadian-based indie rock group, they have grown exponentially in size, won a Grammy for Album of the Year for their 2010 effort The Suburbs
and are now touring sheds and headlining every major music festival in the world. Not bad for a group that was playing in some of Houston’s tiniest venues half a decade a go. Frontman Win Butler and his brother Will are both born and raised in The Woodlands, the town that surrounds the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
, the monstrous outdoor venue that was well sold out for their Wednesday night return to town. The Suburbs
is a concept album based on the city where the two brothers grew up, and on the final night of the tour before their last show at NOLA’s Jazz Fest, they returned to their hometown with the heavily-lauded album and a much more noticeable swagger than the last time they last strolled through the area. With a setlist that included a variance of their material, culling songs from all three albums, they blew one or three thousand minds on this particular evening – just not mine, completely. I’ve become seriously jaded the past few years with the amount of concerts I attend, and this show was in the middle of one of the best weeks of my life musically, so it takes a whole lot to blow me away. Don’t get me wrong, I loved everything about the concert, it just wasn’t one of the best shows I’ve ever seen like several of my friends and cohorts described it as after the performance. The encore was, however, one of the most solid one-two punches of any concert I’ve ever attended, starting the segment with their anthemic “Wake Up” and finishing with the best song off of the new album, the Regine Chassagne sung “Sprawl II.” I definitely left with a warm feeling in my tummy, but that might have been that flask of whiskey I finished off during the final notes of the show.
Openers Explosions In The Sky were really good also, yet I spent most of their set catching up with friends just outside the pavilion. While I could hear the entire set, I didn’t pay enough attention to warrant a full review. I did, however, take a whole bunch of shots from each band which you can find after the jump.