Top 10 Records of 2007 – Number 6
This record is at the top of most of the top 10 lists I’ve seen on the blogs this year and it is certainly at the top of many of my friends’ lists as well. Neon Bible is a great record and Arcade Fire is a great band.
My greatest musical regret of 2007 was missing the Arcade Fire shows at Judson Church at NYU this winter and their show at Radio City this spring. I also missed them at Randalls Island this fall. So I missed them three times this year. Maybe if I had seen them live, something I’ve been told is a transformative experience, this record would have been number one on my list as well. Seeing a band live often takes me back to a record for another run. Unfortunately, this record’s run lasted until the spring for me and then it petered away. Not true for any of the top five on my list.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that Neon Bible is missing the intensity of Funeral, Arcade Fire’s amazing debut record. There’s nothing on this record that can touch the ferocity of Rebellion, for example. Arcade Fire is headed into U2 territory, not Modest Mouse or Pixies territory. That’s good for them and their pocketbooks. But maybe not for my love of their music.
All that said, Neon Bible is a great record and deserves to be at the top of many best of 2007 lists. Just not mine.
I was fortunate enough to see them at Shoreline in Mountain View and back in Kansas City a week later. We took our 12 year old daughter for her first concert. I agree with your take on the album, as well as the transformative experience in seeing them live. The band exudes so much energy, it’s impossible to remain a passive observer. There’s at least 10 people on stage and every single one of them plays with amazing intensity. They give SO MUCH. As someone who has lightly dabbled in performace, I don’t see how they can do it over and over and not be completely exhasted, but they do.And keep in mind, seeing a band like AF in Kansas City is not always a great experience. The venue was outdoor and only sold about half the seats. The band could have easily phoned that one in, but they gave as much, if not more, than they did playing to the packed Shoreline.
It’s impossible to see these guys live and not jump back into their record with open arms. Through some sort of act of god I ended up having no problem buying tickets to the Judson Church show. I am still listening to the record (and even went back and re-discovered Funeral). I share your concern about where these guys go from here though. I am guessing there is still about 18 months before we hear a new record from Win and crew. Who knows what the mainstream will be looking for at that point.
I also saw them live at Shoreline in Mountain View. It was a great performance as they paid to a crazed crowd while the Rain was pouring down! A great show!
I went to high school with Win Butler (and later his brother Will) and used to see him cover Soft Cell tunes in dining hall. He always had a commanding presence, and it is simply astounding how far he has gone. So much talent, so much drive, and an attitude of “we do this. now.” that I really admire.Incredible band.Earlier this year it really hit me how famous they are when i watched a video of them playing at the Coachella festival. I had never heard of the festival, and had no idea where it had taken place. NExt morning i got on a plane to go to a conference. Three days later, I found myself standing on the grounds of the festival, a random polo grounds an hour outside palm springs. so weird.Yeah…. Win is infinitely cooler than that other kid a year below me Mark Zuckerberg who has some little startup or something. Okay Mark is cool in his own way. very cool-C
I saw them in radio city – it was like going to a revival – like going to church – a church that worships rock. It really was amazing. As for intensity – I think Neon Bible is way more intense then Funeral overall. My wife and kids got into Arcade fire with the Neon Bible album and when I played them Funeral, they liked it, but did think it was a bit more tame. Neon Bible is definately a grower though – and the live show multiplied it for me for sure.