that's how i still feel more than 24 hours after the arcade fire concert ended. i went down to san diego yesterday with friends to see their show. and i was looking forward to it. but i really had no idea what i was in for. i was actually a little worried i'd be too tired to enjoy it, as i'd only slept about four hours the night before. and the opening act (though not bad) left me uninspired.
but that ended quickly--very quickly--as soon as the arcade fire took the stage. the first song had me moving. and by the end of the second, i had developed a crush on win butler, their lead singer. i spent the rest of the evening singing along and dancing. along with the rest of the crowd.
that theater last night was pulsing with life--with the reciprocity between artists and audience that makes possible not only art, but also being. a lot of that life came from the performers. win's larger than life stage presence. regine's magnetic persona. everyone of them with their obvious enthusiasm for the music they were making. and the constant motion. dancing. trading instruments with each other not only between songs, but occasionally during a song. it was incredible.
i think the thing i'm most amazed by is the tension between disillusionment and hope i find in their music. there's an exuberance in the collective...i don't know what to call it...humming? oo-ing? whatever it is, it's exuberant. and the 'hey' that punctuates 'no cars go' is overflowing with enthusiasm. the lush fullness of their sound, with all the many instruments they play, fills me up more than almost any other rock music. but there's the darkness of 'ocean of noise' with it's 'ocean of violence between you and me' and it's disavowal of choice. and 'my body is a cage' with its disgust for our 'age that calls darkness light.' but somehow, for me, the hope is what stays. maybe it's that the problems are recognized and named. that the false religiosity and the destructiveness of self-righteousness are revealed. and in their place there's an insistence that 'friendship and love' must have a home and that 'my mind holds the key.'
if you don't know their music, you should. and if you have the chance to see them live, you should.
after the concert ended, we waited around for a while--hoping they would come out and play for a bit in the lobby (as we've heard they do with some regularity). they didn't. and eventually we crossed the street to 7-11 for some drinks and were heading back to the car when we found the three trucks queued up to take their gear off to their next gig. and we decided we'd wait around a bit longer to see if the band came out that way. they did. and we met win. who was super nice and who signed our tickets (the crush lives on).
and now--now i just need to see them again. because last night i went home feeling awake and alive. and that has stayed with me all day today. a hum of energy beneath everything i do.