Arcade Fire’s hotly anticipated “Reflektor” video, directed by Anton Corbijn, is finally here a few hours early and despite being a little jaded from the tornado of hype that’s gone on today, you may find it pretty damn incredible. The whole thing is so big, so weird, so overwhelmingly stylish, and beautiful, not to mention it’s all shot in that stark black and white that made Corbijn iconic. It’s the sort of thing that already tops every other music video this week by the two minute mark, and that’s not even the halfway point. Watch below.
Reflektor is out 10/29 via Merge.
This is the album cover, and Reflektor is a double album.
Report From Arcade Fire’s Surprise Show At Montreal’s Salsathèque
Last night at Montreal’s Club Salsathèque, Arcade Fire performed songs from their upcoming double album Reflektor for a crowd of 200 people. The show was announced yesterday morning when a poster for “The Reflektors” appeared under the “Parties” section of Salsathèque’s website, saying the event would take place on 9/9 at 9PM and cost $9. Formal attire or a costume was required. Cameras and cell phones were strictly banned. I headed over to see what was going on.
Hopeful attendees had started lining up outside the venue around noon. The crowd contained a mixed bag of people in suits, dresses, and all kinds of crazy costumes, with others who didn’t get the memo about the dress code. Rumous circulated throughout the day of our outfits being “judged” before we could gain admission to the show. The bouncers periodically looked us over and gave warnings to people dressed inappropriately — no jeans, no tennis shoes, etc. — and this created a lot of anxiety among us. Some ran to H&M for a quick outfit tuneup, others called up significant others for suit pants deliveries. My favorite was this guy who had gone into the office in the morning, heard about the show, asked his boss for the rest of the day off, and scrounged together a “Mr. Reflektor” superhero outfit that he put on over his work clothes.
Things got more exciting when the band appeared in a black SUV at the end of the block and walked along the lineup to the club’s entrance. This happened twice — once around 5PM for soundcheck, and again around 7PM for the show. The first time, they showed up donning the oversized heads they had worn in the “Sprawl II” and “Reflektor” videos. Later, they came back in masks, white and red suits, and skull makeup.
In the end, no one was denied entry for his or her outfit, but there was a stylist for the event who handed out white jumpsuits to anyone who had underdressed for the occasion. Apparently, the costumes were required as part of a video shoot, although it was never clear what type of video. Later there would be a film crew recording the whole set.
Doors opened at 8:30PM and we made our way up a long staircase lined with lights, past a Salsa dancing school, and into the wonderfully disco’d out Salsathèque. The walls and ceiling were made of mirrors, there were blinking and colored lights everywhere, and an elevated light up dance floor looked exactly like the light up dance floors in every disco movie ever.
The band took the stage at 9PM wearing the costumes they had donned on the street. It was immediately clear that a few things were different about Arcade Fire. Gone was the second drum kit of their early years and the Suburbs tour. Instead, they had two additional percussionists playing a mixture of congas, timbales, wood blocks, bongos, and other instruments, adding much more rhythmic complexity and power to their sound throughout the set. There were no horn players present and Sarah Neufeld was the only devoted violinist; Owen Pallett was there, and switched between violin and keyboards. Otherwise, the band’s instrumentation consisted of guitars, drums, and synths/keys. In this way, Arcade Fire presented themselves not as barons of symphonic indie rock anthems, but as the tightest of house bands ready to provide a sweaty night of dancing tunes. That said, and as anyone should expect, their anthemic choruses still crept in between the beats.
The set was short and only contained songs from Reflektor.
Various loose threads relating to Arcade Fire’s forthcoming album Reflektor have been showing up online for a few weeks. Tonight, at 9PM, the band will release the first single/title track, as well as its Anton Corbijn-directed video (though the song already leaked online over the weekend). And now, we know what the album cover looks like, since, as Pitchfork points out, a listing for the album appeared on New Zealand iTunes. If that’s actually the cover, the image comes from an Auguest Rodin sculpture, which depicts the doomed Greek-myth couple of Orpheus and Eurydice. More intriguing, that New Zealand iTunes listing seems to imply that Reflektor could be a double album, which would be truly badass. Below, check out a new 30-second trailer for the album, which includes footage from a Haitian parade.
The Reflektors – Arcade Fire
Reflektor is out 10/29 on Merge. Also, the band played another secret show tonight at the Montreal salsa club Salsathèque, at 9PM, with a $9 cover charge.