The pre-release cycle for Arcade Fire’s new album Everything Now (via Columbia Records) has been anything but boring. So it makes sense that their intimate release show (much smaller than the last time we saw them) at the Grand Prospect Hall would come with its fair share of drama as well.

It was a free show hosted by Apple Music that you needed to win a contest through 1iota in order to attend. It seems that the companies policy about a strict dress code got mixed up as being directly from the band, so naturally the internet ran wild with it. The band had some fun with the reaction, holding a contest for fans to win entry by showing off their least fashionable entry.

Being that it mainly serves to hold weddings and parties, I had never seen a show at Grand Prospect Hall before, but this seemed as good of any to get my first introduction. The band was set up in the round, with fans surrounding them on all four sides as well as in the balconies above.

Promos for the show suggest that the band would play all of the new album and possibly an encore of hits. They opened with “Everything Now,” but then we found out quickly that this was not the case as the ever familiar intro of “Rebellion (Lies)” began, sending the crowd into a shocked state of surprise that it was being played this early and that they were not playing the whole new album from start to finish as many expected.

In fact only five songs from the 19-song setlist were off of Everything Now, with the rest nearly equally spread between Funeral, The Suburbs and Reflektor and even a couple of selections from Neon Bible. The band and crowd came together as one, using each others energy to build up the show to a massive level, with an impressive career-spanning setlist that only made the evening that much better.

There were minor hiccups such as Win messing up the intro of “No Cars Go” which resulted in one of the most human moments of the show. Win admitted that it was the first time that they’d ever messed it up live. These personal touches only made the show feel that much unique and special.

The encore performance of “Neon Bible” was the biggest surprise of the evening and a nice way to wrap up the performance. They turned off the lights and told fans to take out their phone to provide the light source, with Win Butler jokingly using this as proof that they’d never want to ban people’s phones.

Hearing them weave in and out of old era Arcade Fire songs was a reminder about how many true classic songs that they have. To hear them performed together is just a reminder of how much this band has already accomplished in a little over a decade. A lot of people have turned their backs on this band during this albums pre-release cycle, but this show was a clear statement that Arcade Fire are still every bit the great live band that we have always known and loved.

No professional cameras were allowed in, but you can find some of my iPhone shots taken below, along with the setlist.

Arcade Fire Setlist:

1. Everything Now
2. Rebellion (Lies)
3. Here Comes the Night Time
4. Chemistry
5. Signs of Life
6. No Cars Go
7. The Suburbs
8. The Suburbs (Continued)
9. Ready to Start
10. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
11. Electric Blue
12. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
13. Reflektor
14. Afterlife
15. We Exist
16. Creature Comfort
17. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
18. Wake Up

Encore:

19. Neon Bible (with “Everything Now” & “Wake Up” medley outro]

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