For a music post this week, I give you Arcade Fire’s “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains.” Phil and I managed to catch the Canadian band’s performance in the last week of the Edinborough Festival in Scotland this summer, but in a way that felt more meaningful than buying tickets and showing up. With a bunch of other fans, sitting just under the bleachers set up in front of the Edinborough Castle. Security stood around, presumably awaiting any late-arriving ticket holders, but bothered no of the others who seemed so content to just sit on the sidewalk and enjoy the free show. Who cares that they couldn’t see the band? Cannons were fired at the Castle to signify the show’s end and as fans started trickling out, they sang in synchronicity, “Wake Up.” It was a great night.
This is one of my favorites from their latest album, The Suburbs, and the video is one of the better live recordings found on YouTube (the best is the 2010 SNL performance that, unfortunately, cannot be embedded thanks to the sharing Nazis). There are session tapings, too, and even the recorded version with a simple still of the album cover, but this is a band that is best heard live. An eight piece band and the songs are so anthemic. Especially on this last album which seems to capture a generation that has grown up, tossing away the more naive notions of adulthood (listen to their title track on that one), but never fully compromising.