by Greg Allard
originally published in Silent Charm
When the fake art band, The Reflektors, aka Arcade Fire (the real art band), announced their 2014 tour in late 2013, they asked that their fans come dressed up in formal and costume attire when the tour began.
As I happened to be passing through Atlanta when they were going to play on May 2nd, I decided to attend their show (at Aaron’s Lakewood Amphitheater) to find out how fans would interpret such instructions.
The fans were decent tailgaters but most of them came in late and swarmed to the gate as the show was about to start. As the sun was going down while they flooded in, it truly looked like Halloween had come early this year.
For the most part, the fans looked to be 20-to 30-year old intelligent young men and women dressed like they just got out of their office job or they were coming to attend a ball by invitation of the royal family sometime in the early 20th century.
Others adorned themselves as if they were going to their high school prom, while still others walked in with huge paper machete heads that looked like the marionette puppetry of the 1960s British television series The Thunderbirds.
Although some criticized the band for continuing the dress-up policy of the Reflektors October 2013 shows in Brooklyn, the crowd in Atlanta seemed excited to be able to participate in such a way with the band.
“I don’t know why anyone would have a negative opinion of the request. I mean… It’s just a request. Not like they’re forcing people to go buy formal clothes,” said Sharanya Comtois, 27, who has been a fan of the band for sometime now.
“I think it’s a great idea, and I’ve heard it only makes the wild dance party that is their show even better. I love going to a festival and seeing all the crazy costumes. Just another way to make a show more interactive.“
When the show finally commenced, the stage was not only a spectacle of music for the ears with their 23-song set that lasted over two hours, but also a spectacle of art for the eyes, with the reflective materials, the shiny metallic, the confetti, the mirrors and the strange costumed people walking among the band.
When the lights shined into the crowd, the costumed attendees made the whole amphitheater look like an extension of the stage. It was more than a concert, but a breath-taking event that would have made David Byrne, David Bowie and Andy Warhol proud.
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Joan of Arc (w/ ‘My Body Is a Cage’ intro)
Month of May
The Suburbs (Continued)
Ready to Start (‘Damian Taylor Remix’ outro)
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
Intervention (w/ Antichrist Television Blues outro)
It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus) — Regine on B-Stage
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
(‘Damian Taylor Remix’ intro)
Hey Ya!(OutKast cover w/fake band on stage)
Tequila (fake band on stage)
Radio Free Europe (R.E.M. cover)
Here Comes the Night Time