Arcade Fire Massey Hall, Toronto ON May 15

Arcade Fire Massey Hall, Toronto ON May 15
This was Arcade Fire’s first Toronto show since they took up a three-night residency at Danforth Music Hall two years ago. The inflated band (featuring a cast of ten members) entered the neon-lit stage to Beatles-like applause and seats became irrelevant when they kicked into Neon Bible’s "Black Mirror” and "Keep the Car Running,” which judging by the sing-along, has become a potent single for the band. The performance’s first half was devoted mostly to the new album, raising the roof with the visceral energy of "(Antichrist Television Blues),” encouraging the cheer of "hey!” for "No Cars Go” and uncovering that booming church organ for the divine "Intervention.” When they closed the set merging Funeral’s "Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)” and "Rebellion (Lies),” the response was so electric it was as if Benny Hinn himself was in front of us spreading the gospel and making loyal followers swoon. An encore of the horn-laced "Ocean of Noise” helped raise the profile of their two new members on brass, while — arguably their best song to date (still) — "Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)” seemingly ended the night on the most natural high a concertgoer could wish for: washing away the epic anthem with a sea of people cooing the melodic hook. A triumphant performance all around — that is until the band returned one more time to perform the sagging Funeral closer "In The Backseat.” Despite some impressive theatrics from Regine Chassagne to keep the tranquil song alive, this second encore was purely a buzz-kill for a night filled with such elation on both the band and audience’s part.