Coachella 2022: Arcade Fire deliver catharsis and anthems at intimate show

Given that they headlined the closing night of Coachella in 2014, it was a double surprise when Canadian indie rock titans Arcade Fire were announced as a last minute addition to the bill for the Mojave Tent on Thursday (14 April) – a day before the California music festival kicked off.

A double-whammy, there was, firstly, shock that they were playing at all, and second that they would be appearing in a relatively intimate setting.

An eager crowd of thousands are still squeezing their way into the tent as the seven-piece band enthusiastically bound onto the stage five minutes early, so hearts are in mouths when frontman Win Butler halts proceedings after just a few bars of their opening song to urgently call for a medic for someone in the front row. Thankfully help arrives swiftly and soon the band launch back into their recent Nigel Godrich-produced single “The Lightning I, II”, with Butler’s longtime partner Régine Chassagne bashing away at her keyboard behind him, as their voices come together in a hymn to sticking it out and sticking together.

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