If Arcade Fire were feeling a post Glastonbury hangover, their British Summer Time Hyde Park audience felt none of it. Theirs is the kind of music that makes you want to wrap your arm around everyone you're with, sing like inebriated pirates and hope that summer never ends - and last night was, with its balmy weather and midnight summer's dream feeling, the perfect night for it.
Hyde Park was awash with wayfarer-wearing hipsters who arrived in their droves to see the pin-up band of experimental, accessible cool. But unlike other indie contemporaries, there is an intelligence and depth to their sound that you can imagine will stand the test of time. Between the six band members, they play everything; guitar, accordion, glockenspiel, drums, violin, mandolin, keyboard, xylophone, bass plus vocals.
Their set spanned their diverse genre-blending four albums - from Funeral to Reflektor - over an impressive two hours, during which the audience danced throughout. From Eighties disco and glam rock to somber folk, their back catalogue is extensive - and it sounded infinitely better live at Hyde Park, incased in trees and with the sun setting behind the stage.
"Joan of Arc" was as triumphant and punky as fans cold have hoped, while finale "Wake Up" was euphoric. It could have been cheesy, but nothing sounds like a cliché when you're frontman (Win Butler) is dressed up like a cross between David Bowie and Marc Bolan.
Regine Chassange gave a memorable performance; dressed in the manner of a superior Buzz Lightyear in her silver metallic glory, her solo was otherworldly.
There's something pleasingly weird about Arcade Fire; you imagine that they were pretty unpopular at school; they probably never really fitted in.
And here they are, the ultimate showmen and woman, doing something so starkly different to their peers. They were meant to headline festivals - that level of euphoria should be given to the masses.Reuse content