Arcade Fire Bring Their ‘Everything Now’ Tour and Giant Disco Balls to L.A.’s Forum
From their humble beginnings as a band plucking away at small clubs like the Troubadour or the Roxy to Grammy success and newfound status as bona fide arena rockers, there’s no denying Arcade Fire’s influence on the modern music sphere. Their latest album, 2017’s “Everything Now,” may have left longtime listeners with an odd taste in their mouths, but Arcade Fire presses on with incredible conviction, crafting the kind of music that satisfies their pension for artistic innovation and social commentary whether it has fans’ approval or not. Yet the Montreal outfit’s droves of fans proved their undying loyalty when they flocked to the Forum on Oct. 20, ready to see true musical luminaries at work as part of Arcade Fire’s “Everything Now” tour.
A venue as vast as the Forum might be a dream come true for a lot of performers, but its size doesn’t exactly make it conducive to every type of performance. Take opening act Angel Olson, whose rich folk-tinged indie rock seemed to get lost in the massive space, making the overall performance seem muted and without much expression. Olsen has proven herself as a terrific live performer in significantly smaller venues, but her set seemed to tread a great deal of water at The Forum, thanks in large part to the limiting acoustics. Still, those familiar with her body of work lent their support, and she played her half hour with every bit of enthusiasm she could muster.
By the time Arcade Fire were ready to play the night away, they hit The Forum ready to rumble, the five core members and three additional musicians entering through the crowd like so many boxers before them at that very venue, complete with an over-the-top ring announcer booming out an intro fit for fighting royalty. They launched into the piano-driven, disco-heavy “Everything Now,” a cut that kicked things off with a palpable party vibe before diving into “Signs of Life.” It felt like the perfect Friday evening, to be sure.
Despite the mixed reaction that greeted “Everything Now” back in July, this October evening saw every one of the album’s cuts connect with great sincerity. It was a good thing, too, because the band leaned heavily on tracks from that album to prop up the set. Every song hit home, though, winning attendees over with their danceability and biting social commentary. But the real treats started hitting when the quintet launched into “Rebellion (Lies)” from their debut “Funeral” album, with the first notes throwing fans into total hysterics.
Other highlights from the show include a pair of giant disco balls under which the band’s dancers cut a rug to “Chemistry” and an incredibly impassioned venue-wide sing-along to “No Car Goes.” The middle of the show seemed to have the most life, with the band moving into a full tilt sprint of older fare, including “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” and “Ready to Start” particularly landing with this rabid audience. “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)” closed out the band’s main set, emerging for an encore that kicked off with “We Don’t Deserve Love.” Things ramped up to one final cacophony of sound and passion as the group fired into its final song of the evening, the rapturous “Wake Up,” which through all of its valleys and peaks kept the crowd hooked until the very end. Once the final note faded into the warm Inglewood night and the band members took their leave, the crowd couldn’t help but mount a hysterical buzz, in awe of the expansive set they had just scene. And who could blame them? One of this generation’s most iconic musical forces just left an indelible mark on the iconic Forum’s history, and these fans got to be a part of that storied experience.
Arcade Fire played at The Forum in Los Angeles on Oct. 20.