Maybe it was the so-called dress code scandal, when they politely asked (not demanded) that fans wear semi-formal attire to the shows. Maybe it was the sprawling, disco-flavored new double-album, which didn’t really have one would-be radio hit among its 13 mostly lengthy songs. Or maybe Twin Cities indie-rock fans really just don’t want to see concerts at Target Center.
Whatever the reason, Canadian indie-rock darlings Arcade Fire have surprised a lot of fans but not a lot of concert-biz professionals and turned to Groupon to sell tickets to their March 8 concert at Minneapolis’ basketball arena. The online coupon deal offers $64.51 tickets for $32 (seats in the lower-level farthest from stage, or upper-level nearer the stage), or $40.74 tickets for $22 (in upper-level rear of arena). Those prices even include fees.
While it’s a relatively common practice for arenas and even some mid-level venues such as Myth to offer wholesale/half-price ticket deals nowadays, it’s usually for less-than-sizzling-hot pop acts such as Britney Spears or classic-rockers like Bret Michaels – not bands with mountain-sized heaps of indie cred and critical acclaim.
Arcade Fire has yet to gain much traction in mainstream circles, though, despite its win for best album at the Grammys in 2011 and a wide array of TV appearances of late, including “Saturday Night Live” and (just last week) “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.” Unlike Kings of Leon -- who perform at Target Center two nights before them next week and came up through similar channels – the Canadian rockers have yet to land a high-charting radio hit like “Use Somebody.”
To be fair, though, Target Center is three times the size of Roy Wilkins Auditorium, which Arcade Fire easily sold out for its two previous trips to town in 2010 and 2007. Also, the band opted to make the floor general admission instead of reserved seats, which makes for even more room in the arena. Those g.a. tickets ($70.50) seem to be the preferred choice for fans, and they are not being offered in the Groupon deal. Because who wants to sit when you’re wearing a tux to a rock concert?
Proof they're not your average arena-rock act anyway, the band took the time (and expense) to travel to co-leader Regine Chassagne's native Haiti this past weekend to play a concert in the coastal town of Jecmal as part of the earthquake-ravaged country's reviving Kanaval celebrations. Minnesota's own Dan Huiting accompanied the band to film the event. A videographer for TPT's "MN Original" series and such acts as Bon Iver and Polica, Huiting also has done film work chronicling relief efforts in Haiti.