Arcade Fire’s show at the Greek Theater last night may have been billed as an extension of their ongoing tour in support of 2017’s divisive “Everything Now,” but the show ended up as something else entirely: a celebration of the 14th anniversary of the band’s seminal debut, “Funeral.” The group delivered a totally unannounced, unexpected front-to-back run-through of the album serving as the first set of the concert.
Eagle-eyed audience members could have caught clues in cues even before the music started: married front-couple Win Butler and Regine Chassagne and the rest of the band emerged in the black-and-white suits they wore back in the day rather than the jumpsuits that have become expected in the era of their latest album, “Everything Now.” The opening song, “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” is one of the band’s most beloved tracks, so it took a few songs — until at least the rarely-played third track “Une Annee Sans Lumiere” — for many fans to realize what was happening. With artwork from the album cover swirling behind them, they barrelled through the rest of the album, including a high-octane singalong on “Wake Up” and the moody closer, “In The Backseat” (also a rarity), before taking a quick setbreak, changing into their “Everything Now” garb, and tearing through songs from the rest of their five-album, Grammy-winning catalog with the requisite disco balls, confetti cannons, and unabashed joy that’s made the band a must-see live act.
Though Butler said, “we’re not usually ones for nostalgia,” when he took the mic during the show, the band has confirmed via Twitter that they’ll be playing “Funeral” at their upcoming shows tonight and tomorrow at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, CA. The current tour concludes at the Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas on Sunday.