CANADIAN band Arcade Fire brought their Infinite Content tour to Glasgow’s SSE Hydro, complete with a mesmerising light show, an incredible set list and fantastic energy.
The group are known for their elaborate production and stunning sets, but this was perhaps the best yet.
Fans may have been a tad bemused when entering the arena to find the stage in the middle of the floor, and resembling a boxing ring.
Was the gig actually next door in the Armadillo and a big bout here instead?
Well the band’s entrance soon revealed the logic behind it, with the nine performers making their way to the ‘ring’ in the style of boxers heading for a knockout contest.
The introductory voiceover announced them as reigning, defending, undisputed, heavyweight champions of the world.
And when they all squeezed onto the stage, they certainly packed a punch.
Kicking off with the excellent Everything Now, they soon switched back to something a little older with Rebellion (Lies) from first album Funeral.
Each of their five albums was represented on the setlist, which showed just how impressive their back catalogue is, even if newer material hasn’t been so well received.
For those, like myself, who aren’t the biggest fans of the band’s most recent album, the show’s production more than makes up for it.
A light show featuring all colours of the rainbow accompanied Reflektor’s Here Comes the Night Time, and no matter where you were in the audience, you’ll have seen every member of the band.
With fans encircling the stage, the group swapped around corners and sides, and in the middle the drummers were on a rotating platform.
Just as dizzying was old favourite No Cars Go which sounded as good as ever, and newer tracks Electric Blue and Put Your Money On Me made excellent use of the JumboTron screens.
There was then a special surprise for the locals with Jim Kerr of Simple Minds joining the band on stage for a brilliant rendition of Don’t You Forget About Me.
The tempo was kept high for Keep The Car Running before the lights went out and the audience’s phones illuminated like fireflies for powerful number My Body Is A Cage.
The relentless journey through the band’s five albums continued with Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels), The Suburbs and Ready to Start.
The star of the show was Régine Chassagne, whose vocals were particularly excellent on Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains), as the arena transformed into a glittering disco.
After a rendition of Reflektor, the show almost petered out towards the end, with new tracks Afterlife and Creature Comfort.
But the barnstorming Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) brought the set to a close with smoke rising around the stage.
The band left the stage but duly re-emerged for the encore, Win Butler taking the long route back through the crowd with his guitar.
We Don’t Deserve Love was a gentle return, followed by the continuation of Everything Now to get the crowd singing along again.
Support act the Preservation Hall Jazz Band returned to the stage, which was getting rather crowded with talent by this point.
The encore of course included the euphoric singalong classic Wake Up, with thousands of voices belting out the iconic chorus to end the show in style.
The band left again through the crowd in a sort of conga line, and they played David Bowie’s Rebel Rebel all the way.
Overall, it was a brilliant show that certainly left the audience infinitely content.
A sensational production from start to finish ★★★★
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