The Arcade Fire Disco Masquerade With 'The Reflektors'
Under a full Hunter moon, the ghost of Arcade Fire appeared in a Bushwick warehouse on Friday night. Guests were requested to dress for this intimate, semi-secret and instantly sold-out performance "in costume or formal dress." Crowding into the former metals and plastics factory, nods left and right revealed all attendees – including werewolves, regal Brooklynites, sailors and Smurfs – looking sexy, dapper and stoked.
A handful of paper-mâché-masked band members filed onto the stage, and – while diddling with some distortion pedals – introduced themselves as The Reflektors. But suddenly the audience couldn’t help but notice a fitful percussion swelling from the west side of the room. A confused crowd careened away from the stage and toward the noise just as a curtain parted to reveal the rest of the ten-piece ensemble, fronted by the towering Win Butler. Looking snappy and sequined – and without a moment’s hesitation – the band boomed into their latest single, Reflektor. Needless to say, performers and spectators alike went fucking wild.
Song after song broke into hit after undeniable hit. Sandwiched in sweat and verve, I swear I gleaned the bass line of Billy Jean… perhaps a bit of Gimme Shelter and dare I say a hint of The Clash – as the nu-disco jams melded into crystalline rock ‘n roll of the modern age. In a one-hour set, all but two tracks were fresh to our eager ears, featuring some of the catchiest guitar riffs this patron of the arts has heard in a long, long, while. The entire band seemed to function like the electric kindergarten class of your dreams – bouncing around from bongos to keys; dancing, jumping, vogueing in fringed bodysuits. Arcade Fire or "The Reflectors" – whoever they were – never cease to impress and always raise the bar.
The only thing that would have made this show incomplete is if Butler didn’t crowd surf. So he did.
Photography by Devin Doyle