At Barclays Center Saturday evening, singer Win Butler began a song by saying, "This next one is about Billy Joel. Just kidding."
Members of Canadian indie band Arcade Fire love to mess with their audience. At each of their three shows at the Brooklyn arena, a phony band took to the middle of the venue to play a hacky cover song before the real band suddenly reappeared on stage. They returned with company, bringing a different all-star musician up with them each night.
On Friday it was David Johansen, aka Buster Poindexter, of The New York Dolls for a cover of "Hot Hot Hot." Then Saturday night, Marky Ramone took the stage to play "I Don't Want to Go Down to the Basement" and the always-fun "I Wanna Be Sedated."
On Sunday night, Talking Heads frontman David Byrne joined in for a cover of Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream," a song recently covered in concert by Bruce Springsteen.
For the most part, the Grammy Award-winning band covered a different song for each city played on "Reflektor" tour, the song usually having to do with the locale. The group covered R.E.M in Atlanta and The Smiths in London. Coachella 2014 closed with Blondie's Debbie Harry and a cover of "Heart of Glass."
Covers aside, Arcade Fire's set Saturday included favorites such as "Haiti" and "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" and "Suburbs" stand-outs like "Sprawl II" and "Ready to Start," which sounded especially refined in the large space. The show ended with "Wake Up," which became a triumphant arena-wide singalong.
The 90-minute mass-appeal set list could've satisfied any fan, from bearded Brooklynites to married couples who phoned in the babysitter for the evening.
Few indie bands can handle playing the large Brookyln arena, the Nets can barely handle playing it. But the Canadian band did the venue justice, and kept fans guessing the whole time.
Here's Arcade Fire's latest music video, "You Already Know" off 2013's "Reflektor."