Arcade Fire – Manchester International Festival 2017
Everything Now. I want it!
Tickets clutched excitedly in hand we arrive at the venue at 8.30 and are met with a queue that covers most of Castlefield, and then we hear them start to play, the faint sound of ‘Rebellion’ travels through the air, I’m livid, its my favourite track, excitement gives way to disappointment, I hate missing the start of a gig.
Once in the atmosphere immediately overcomes me as Win shouts, “We’re not fucking scared!” Followed by ”Thank you for being an inspiration to the rest of the world”. This isn’t your usual “We love you Manchester!” No, none of that bollocks. This is authentic, this is real, this is the shit you can’t manufacture, and we receive it as such.
‘No cars go’ and ‘Ready to Start’ turn the crown into singing and dancing maniacs while the people in the apartments overlooking the venue do the same. That’s Manchester.
‘Afterlife’ is always a winner for me as we attempt to remember the dance moves from the video and care little about how foolish we might look. I’m so into it I almost don’t realise they’ve slipped into New Orders ‘Temptation’, and then I do, and I’m choked up for the second time tonight.
‘Everything Now’ comes early in the set and sounds even better live will its Abba-esq vibe. And then it’s Regine’s turn, I love her, I kind of want to be her and I’m pleased to see her take centre stage. ‘Sprawl’ rings out and Regine reaches for the ribbons, we wave along with her.
‘Wake Up’ opens the encore and the place erupts, thousands of voices singing along “ohhhh oh oh oh oh oh ohhh ohhh!” Phone lights dancing in the night, beautiful but I prefer lighters myself, cue a wave of emotion, again, third time. ‘Neon Bible’ finishes the set with Joy Divisions ‘Love will Tear us Apart’ tacked onto the end. What a perfect way to close.
Arcade Fire showed us they understand our city, their gigs are never JUST gigs, it’s never JUST music, it’s something more, something bigger and everyone there knew it.