On Wednesday 7th June 2017 Arcade Fire played The Baths Hall in Scunthorpe.
Like many people around the world, I was shocked at the announcement that global music superstars Arcade Fire had confirmed they were playing a warm up gig at the Baths Hall in Scunthorpe, just days before headlining the Isle of Wight festival on Saturday.
Arcade Fire are a Grammy and Brit award winning indie / rock band from Canada, who have headlined festivals such as Glastonbury and have had music appear on the Hunger Games movie soundtrack, so why they had chosen to play Scunthorpe over any other small town or city was a pleasant surprise.
The last time I remember being anywhere near as surprised at a local event announcement was when Lee Evans performed a warm up comedy show for his arena tour, almost ten years ago. I missed out for tickets to that event and remember being disappointed, so I didn’t want the same thing to happen again.
Despite tickets selling out in an amazingly fast time, I was lucky enough to be able to attend this event for Scunthorpe Nights as a reviewer and despite not being a massive Arcade Fire fan before the event, I had heard they were a band you had to see perform live to truly appreciate their music.
It wasn’t that I was not a fan, they were just a band I would listen to occasionally and would think they were good but not great, however this event proved me wrong and made a massive fan.
The first thing I noticed when arriving at the venue, was how the stage had been placed in the middle of the floor, in a similar style to how you would see a boxing ring.
All four sides had different instruments and microphones, meaning that whatever side of the stage you were stood at, you had a different view of different band members.
The band performed for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, with very little interruption, performing pretty much non stop. There was no stopping every few songs to chat to the audience, as the band just wanted to perform to the fans and the fans loved every minute of it.
The crowd sang and danced all night long, clearly having the time of their lives, not slowing down until the very last song.
The full set list started with new single “Everything Now” and was followed by “Haiti”, “Here Comes The Night Time”, “No Cars Go”, “Black Mirror”, “Neon Bible”, “Ready To Start”, “Tunnels”, “Sprawl 2”, “Reflektor”, “Afterlife” “We Exist”, “Creature Comfort”, “Power Out”, “Rebellion” and “Wake Up”, with the debut of a new song “Signs of Life” as the only bonus song performed during their encore performance.
The highlight of the night for me was “Reflektor”, when the whole room went pitch black only to have it lit up again by the light from the mobile phones of the fans in attendance. It was just like something I would have expected to see at an arena and not a much smaller venue like the Baths Hall.
It did seem a bit odd ending the event on a new song, as the crowd didn’t know the song and weren’t able to sing and dance along, so this might have been better placed elsewhere on the set.
It did also seem strange that the gig just ended after the song as I think people were expecting a bit more, but they are just very small criticisms of what was a fantastic event that will be talked about for a long time by those lucky enough to attend and will take something very special to happen in Scunthorpe to even attempt to beat it.
Arcade Fire’s new album “Everything Now” will be released in the UK on 28th July 2017.