Arcade Fire isn’t exactly going to make it to Portland this time around, and actually, their only Northwest stop is at The Gorge in central Washington. After the release of Reflektor in late 2013, the band’s current tour has already seen them headline consecutive weekends at Coachella as they continue their trip around the world with more top billings at massive festivals on multiple continents—including performances at New Orleans Jazz Fest, Primavera Sound in Barcelona and Fuji Rock in Japan.
Reflektor was an interesting change in tone for Arcade Fire. Working with James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, the band moved in the direction of a pop/disco aesthetic. Winning a Grammy for the previous record (The Suburbs), it appears they were looking to create an album that would be just as widely appreciated but sonically diverse.
I haven’t personally seen Arcade Fire live, but people tend to say that they’re a great band to see in an expansive setting like The Gorge. The band has six core members, but they often play with more people on stage—including Owen Pallett, a Canadian composer and musician. With an intricate sound that lends itself to the large scope of an amphitheater, you can also expect them to be dressed in eccentric outfits like they usually are.
It should be an intriguing show as they merge the melancholy and slow-paced songs of The Suburbs with the celebratory feeling of Reflektor. When you’re the kind of band that turns a church into a recording studio and records an album like The Suburbs on equipment from the 1940s, and then follows up that award-winning effort with a double album (the recording of which takes you to Louisiana and Jamaica during the course of three years), there’s no saying what to expect—except a spectacle—from the band.