Concert Review: Arcade Fire, August 14, Toronto Island

Photo courtesy of Frank Yang, Chromewaves

Toronto – Win Butler’s haircut, dancing on picnic tables and Toronto island…what more could a girl ask for?


2003 – Arcade Fire releases Funeral, an epic, brooding album with grandeur not often seen from a freshman effort

2007 – Arcade Fire releases Neon Bible, somewhat of a disappointment in my eyes, but Funeral was a hard act to follow

2010Arcade Fire releases The Suburbs, going back to their themed album roots, after 3 long years of waiting they produce a 16-track work of art

On to the details

Now, if you’re an avid reader of this blog (which you probably are) you will have noted my mention of how a certain (*cough* Collective Concerts *cough*) concert promoter ran the last island show (read: silly restrictions, long beer lines etc.). Knowing they also organized this concert I went in with low expectations. Beer lines were still long and I don’t think Janelle Monae was an appropriate opening act for Arcade Fire. In her defense though, Janelle put on a killer show complete with costumes, choreographed dances and a killer voice.

The Main Event

Organizational complaints aside, Arcade Fire went on at their scheduled time of 8:45 and opened with Ready to Start, a perfect upbeat tune to begin their set! From there they continued on with their 90 minute set only stopping to thank the fans for coming to see the show. They played about half the songs from The Suburbs, and a handful from Neon Bible and Funeral.

The energy from the crowd was amazing and contagious. I was standing in the beer area, equipped with picnic tables that consequently became dance podiums as soon as Arcade Fire took the stage. I think this was the biggest crowd I’ve seen at an island concert, which made it even better!

I’m a huge fan of Arcade Fire, their new album is nothing short of epic and they definitely did not disappoint in their live performance. I, along with the majority of the crowd sang along for the whole set. The voice combination of Win Butler and Regine Chassagne is pure magic.


Arcade Fire were chanted back onto the stage for an encore, they played Keep the Car Running and then Wake Up. When the initial chords for Wake Up were played the crowd went crazy and basically drowned out the band singing the “Ohhhh ohhhhh ohhhh” intro. I love it when bands end with an amazing song and Wake Up left everyone in an excellent mood even with the impending thought of never ending ferry lines.

Check out Frank’s and Melody‘s reviews of the show as well!

Posted on by sarahw in Concerts