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Arcade Fire at the Kia Forum: Communal Wonder

The Canadian rock giants sell out two consecutive nights at the legendary venue.

Photograph by Joshua Alvarez

Text, Photos by Joshua Alvarez (@joshua.jam3s) at the

Kia Forum on November 16, 2022:

From the moment one entered the Kia Forum on the evening of November 16th, it was clear that a party was about to ensue. Arcade Fire had brought The WE Tour to the arena for back-to-back shows that were lively from the get go. A DJ was positioned in the center of the show floor beneath a giant disco ball, offering groovy tunes and infectious energy that had early attendees moving in between sets, the first of which was commanded by the Haitian, GRAMMY-nominated Boukman Eksperyan. The musician brought forth a memorable performance that lit up an enthusiastic crowd with a mizik rasin sound.

Though distinct to that of the headliners, Boukman Eksperyan set the tone for what we all were about to experience with an expansive musical palette possible only by the strong sense of community on stage. Arcade Fire mastered that ensemble-like synchronicity.

Photograph by Joshua Alvarez

The opening Boléro by Maurice Ravel played for close to 20 minutes and the eagerness of the crowd built up in anticipation for the band to hit the stage. WE, Arcade Fire's latest momentous endeavor, was the star of the show tonight, building on its acclaim upon release with new improvisations and the aura one can only get from a live experience.

Voices of a united crowd filled the Forum as many danced freely away to the hymns of the great Arcade Fire, who opened with Age of Anxiety 1. Beyond it being a celebration of the band's 2022 record, there was much to love from across their noteworthy discography. Gems like Ready To Start, Neighborhood #3, and Rebellion made a welcomed appearance.

Photograph by Joshua Alvarez

The band made use of every inch of that stage, allowing the thrill to take over the expressive performance. Win Butler stood at the end of the stage, addressing us all and soon singing the lyrics to hits like the aforementioned Ready to Start. Arcade Fire's showing was a timeline of the band's trajectory, all of which came together as on cohesive body of work that many, if not all, in attendance had engraved in their minds.

As the night winded down, Tom Petty's Free Falling stood tall among the encore songs as a total hit that drew a strong sing-a-long. Shortly after, Wake Up put the finishing touches on Night 1 with a beautiful send off for fans.

Photograph by Joshua Alvarez

Arcade Fire have been at the forefront of the indie rock arena for years, and this continues to be the case with WE being among the genre's most standout offerings of the year. Though easy to fall into a comfort zone this many records into their career and this successful since their debut, Arcade Fire stray from conventionality and continue to allow their craft to expand as a byproduct of their intentionality. WE is that good in studio and even more so in the live setting, making the night's performance nothing short of incredible.

Enjoy a photo gallery of the performance below and experience WE (Stream/Order).


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