I wasn't even planning to attend the Arcade Fire concert, we bought tickets back in December 2013 as Christmas presents for my daughter and my bro in-law and at the time didn't really have a great interest in going. I had seen them two previous times (both outstanding shows!!), but I wasn't crazy about their new album and I didn't think I needed to see them again. As faith would have it my daughter went to Europe for most of the summer and would miss the show, so I made sure the tickets didn't go to waste and I'm sure glad I did!
The tickets were in the 300 level which in price terms are the cheap seats, but they were first row and nicely in line with the stage that promised a clear, unobstructed view of the stage. I almost didn't bring my recording gear because I figured the sound would suck being up so high as the sound would get lost in the upper reaches of the sketchy acoustics of the MTS Centre ceiling. When we arrived at the arena, the 300 level was closed off and we were informed all the 300 level seats were being "up-graded" to lower sections. In one hand being lower is an upgrade, but our fear, being older and less energetic we would have to stand during the show. We were reassigned to seats in the second row of the 200 level directly below our original tickets. What this means is that sales apart from the floor and the main lower bowl (100 level) were very low considering the 200 level seats were only occupied about 4-5 rows up in most of the sections in the arena. The good news was a much closer view and better sound. I have to admit I'm impressed by how decent the sound for concerts is at the MTS Centre. The volume is loud and the clarity despite a band like Arcade Fire that boasts 12-13 band members on stage isn't muddled. It wasn't the case with the opening band, Tune-Yards which sounded like a rumble of noise that might have translated better in a smaller venue.
Everytime I have seen Arcade Fire they impressed me beyond my expectations. When I saw them in 2005, I was vaguely familiar with the band and was blown away by their energy and how they played every song like it was their last. At the time I confessed to someone, this was one of the most amazing concerts I had seen! My seats were first row balcony and they offered a perfect straight on view of the band and the sights and sounds of the band kept me focused all night. Their show at the MTS Centre for their Suburbs tour further impressed me. Situated on the floor it was a totally different experience moving shoulder to shoulder with the crowd, the visuals were even better and the music quality upped it's ante, as Arcade Fire was now more than an indie band.
This year's concert was a continued assault of sight and sound. The stage visuals, the state of art light show and creativity and artistry of their presentation has surpassed anything I've seen live (to be fair I usually skip the BIG name shows at the arena or stadium). The "tin-foil" man dancing on the b-stage, the large bobble-head characters during the opening processional march through the crowd to the stage and during the encore break "performing", These Eyes, the crowd dressed formally or in costume were just some of the visual highlights of the show. The music was good too, even the newer stuff sounded better live, but is there a need for 5 percussion players for some of the songs? The two full drum kits not enough? Overall, I was impressed and at times wondered how do you top this. It may be a while until I see something so original and mind-blowing as Arcade Fire and I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't until they come back to town during their next tour.
Note: The recording was pretty good despite not being in an ideal position in front of the stage, but the sound is loud and clear enough and less audience chatter/noise than if I was on the floor. Sorry if the track separation isn't perfect, it's hard to distinguish the end and start of songs because they like to segue to the next song without a break.
Reviews and photos from the show-
Winnipeg Free Press
Consequence Of Sound
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
August 14, 2014
Sony ECM-DS70P mic> Tascam DR-07> USB> 16 bit Wav>
Direct Wave MP3 splitter> FLAC> rar file
01. Here Comes The Night Time
02. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
03. Flashbulb Eyes
05. Joan of Arc
06. Month of May
07. The Suburbs
08. Ready to Start
09. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
11. We Exist
11. No Cars Go
14. It's Never Over (Regine on B-stage)
15. Sprawl II
17. Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown (Neil Young cover)
18. Normal Person
19. Rebellion (Lies)
20. Wake Up
ARCADE FIRE- 2014-08-14 MTS Centre, Winnipeg, MB FLAC Master part 1. rar
ARCADE FIRE- 2014-08-14 MTS Centre, Winnipeg, MB FLAC Master part 2. rar