Monday, August 09, 2010
So, did you have a good Arcade Fire week? The multimedia onslaught either has you still swooning or totally burned out, or perhaps found you apathetic from the get-go. Me, I'm somewhere in the middle - I love "The Suburbs", and think it's a perfectly-placed step forward for the band, and really the only step they could have made. They can't top the precise balance of bombastic, joyful, out-of-nowhere angst that "Funeral" found in 2004, and had they gone further inwards than their sophomore "Neon Bible", they might have brought a big-time bummer (and would have left their live shows lacking). Somehow, they found the middle ground, and it works wonders for me.
But as someone who spends probably a little too much time online, I'm over-fed on album reviews, live reviews, reviews of those reviews, and other meta-commentary (and commentary on that commentary). Better to step back, queue up the album again, and focus on what matters. So I find myself not wanting to write much more about the new record than what I said above, or sharing thoughts from the transcendent live show they gave us here in Boston last week, words that have already been said and read elsewhere. Instead, I'll direct you to other places before I share up my recording of the set...
With those words out of the way, here's my recording of the band's set at the Bank of America Pavilion on the Boston waterfront on Sunday night, August 1st, 2010. A couple of things to keep in mind as I share this: 1) It was recorded from the front row, so it's not going to sound ideal. Hell, in many cases that's the worst possible place to record a show, and 2) The band's current policy on taping their shows is a bit up in the air. In the past, they've been supportive, allowing me to record their revelatory 2004 set at TT the Bears in Cambridge (which I've just re-upped for your listening pleasure), as well as their 2007 Orpheum performance (also now re-shared). They've become a little too big to communicate with directly, though, and I hesitated to share this set for that reason. As always, in the event I'm contacted by the band, their management, or the label, the recording may disappear.
Oh, and this won't matter to most, but for the first time, thanks to additional server space, I'm offering up this recording as 256kbps MP3s, rather than as 192kbps. That server space is also the reason I'm able to re-host the band's 2004 and 2007 sets. I'll be re-upping many other sets over the coming months as well, so randomly check this list if you're looking for older Almanac audio, and feel free to put in a request to move something to the top of the upload queue.
I will offer one live show comment: My favorite moment from the set was when Jeremy Gara was unleashed from his drum throne for a single song, picking up a guitar to play his part on "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)". The guy proceeded to let loose with absolute abandon, and as one of the many drummers who is in reality a frustrated guitarist, I loved watching him. He rocked out so hard that he fell into the guitar amp, knocking it over and causing a mad scramble of AF roadies. He, and they, could only smile. A great moment.
Enjoy, and have a look at my photos as you listen...
Live at the Bank of America Pavilion
in Boston, MA
on Sunday, August 1st, 2010
(download the full set as a .zip file)
01. Ready To Start
02. Month of May
03. Neighborhood #2 [Laika]
04. No Cars Go
06. Sprawl II [Mountains Beyond Mountains]
07. We Used To Wait
09. Modern Man
10. The Suburbs
11. Deep Blue
12. Neighborhood #3 [Power Out] / Rebellion [Lies]
13. Half Light II [No Celebration]
14. Neighborhood #1 [Tunnels]
15. Keep The Car Running
16. Wake Up
The band continues touring with a show on Wednesday in Atlanta, followed by a Saturday set in Toronto before heading overseas. Check out their full itinerary here.
Purchase "The Suburbs" direct from Merge Records right here. Amazon.com has also extended their ridiculously low $3.99 digital deal here. Here's hoping the album makes it to #1 on the charts this week... not because I put much stake in such things, but because it would give me quite a personal thrill to see Eminem unseated by a Merge band. Go team!
the fine print... If anyone has an issue with these Mp3s being made available, just let me know (my contact info in the 'nac faq). Live sets recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 256kbps Mp3s. Files are made available for a limited time, and are not reposted once removed.
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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