Coachella 2022: Harry Styles Dazzles in Festival Debut, Shania Twain Joins on Stage

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If the days of indie rockers still being able to make a splash at Coachella have been on their death bed, then Arcade Fire may have shown up just in time to save the day. 

The band’s appearance, which was announced only a day before their set, proved to be the perfect surprise for anyone missing the days when a band offering this kind of orchestral instrumentation and deep, thematic lyrics could get top billing. 

It’s been seven long years since Arcade Fire did just that, but those days didn’t feel so far away as a crowd packed the Mojave stage for a show that could only be described as emotional and even cathartic. 

More:Coachella 2022 live updates: Arcade Fire stops show for medics; tribute to Ukraine flies high

Things did get off to a troubling start after lead singer Win Butler had to stop singing only moments after launching into their new single, “The Lightning I,” from their forthcoming album “We.”

But if the crowd was “waiting for the lightning,” they quickly started to get it as Butler launched into the companion song, “The Lightning II.” By the end of that song, the crowd was loudly clapping along and Butler was triumphantly holding his guitar above his head.

With those newbies out of the way, the band then launched into several of their familiar hits. The crowd reached another level during “Rebellion (Lies)” with many joining in on the iconic “wooh” sound. 

The show’s emotional zenith came soon after, when Butler stopped to remind the crowd about how Coachella was where Arcade Fire was “introduced to the world in 2005.” 

“We came here as children,” he said. “We are not children now.”

Butler then invoked the COVID-19 pandemic for the first of several times during the show, noting that it has “been a time of incredible change but we can’t let it change or break us.” 

He then launched into a poignant rendition of “The Suburbs,” during which he made a small but pointed change to one of the song’s most iconic lyrics to say “and all of the walls they built in 2020 finally fall and they all mean nothing, nothing at all.” 

After near-perfect renditions of hits “Ready to Start,” “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” ” Everything Now,” and even a stage dive and some crowd surfing from Butler, he asked if it would be ok if he played a new song. The lyrics, which referenced it being “all right to be sad” were matched with a thrilling moment in which several crayon-like inflatables suddenly shot up over the stage. One of the inflatables initially drooped unlike the others before triumphantly inflating more to join them. 

Then, finally, it was time for “Wake Up,” (what else?) and the moment lived up to the song’s jubilance with everyone in sight belting along. 

You say we can still be friends? By the looks of tonight’s set, Coachella is still happy to be that and more with Arcade Fire. 


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