Saturday’s Arcade Fire set list at Target Center was surprisingly light on tunes from the band’s anthemic second album, “Neon Bible.” Only “No Cars Go” and the stripped-down and abbreviated opening tune “My Body Is a Cage” were offered from the 2007 record, whereas “Antichrist Television Blues,” “Keep the Car Running” and “Windowsill” all might have gone over huge in the arena setting. Still, the band had plenty else in its arsenal to turn its local arena debut into an even bigger show than its previous appearances at Roy Wilkins Auditorium, turning some previously undistinctive songs into memorable moments.
Click here to read about some of those moments in the full review of Saturday’s nearly two-hour concert. Another of the more pleasant surprises was “It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus),” for which Regine Chassagne ran over to the small stage at the back of the arena, making it a back-and-forth duet with Win Butler from opposite ends of the room. Before “Normal Person,” Butler instructed the audience to dance like the kids in Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video each time the song hit a refrain, resulting in several riotous explosions on the general-admission arena floor. As if in a mocking deference to its new arena-level status, the band also dropped in short snippets of Guns N’ Roses' “Sweet Child o’ Mine” and Aerosmith’s power-turd “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” during “Normal Person” and Lady Gaga’s “Do What U Want” in “Rococo.”
There was nothing coy about the Prince cover, though. Well, except maybe for the images of Rep. Michele Bachmann that appeared on the nifty video-screen box Butler wore on his head. An audio clip of the band’s version of “Controversy” already hit the web overnight and can be heard below. It replaced a rendition of the Stones’ “The Last Time” in the encore two nights earlier at the tour’s opening date in Kentucky. Here’s the set list from the second gig on the tour:
My Body Is a Cage / Reflektor / Flashbulb Eyes / Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) / Rebellion (Lies) / Joan of Arc / Rococo / The Suburbs (with “The Suburbs (Continued)” refrain) / Ready to Start / Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) / We Exist / Normal Person / No Cars Go / Haïti / Afterlife / It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus) / Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) ENCORE: Controversy (Prince cover) / Here Comes the Night Time / Wake Up