Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest

Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest

July 14, 2010 14:53 ET

"The Arcade Fire Conjure a Profound Mix of Sound"

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OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 14, 2010) -

Editors Note: There is a photo and a video associated with this press release.

By Trevor Sylvain

This year's Cisco Systems Ottawa Bluesfest rolled in on a record breaking heatwave in the nation's capital. The festival ran parallel to some of the hottest days Ottawa has experienced since 1946. And Tuesday night was no different. The air hung heavy and humid on the grounds outside the Canadian War Museum. It had been a day of rain and overcast skies giving slight relief to the heat. But the weather certainly won't stop people from trekking out to the festival stomping grounds for another night abundant with musical acts. It was clear when crowds began to line up down the festival gates and out along the Ottawa River Parkway. Devoted fans of the band waited eagerly by the front of the MBNA stage to catch the best view possible for tonight's show. The festival now in its seventh day of performances is alive again with people and sounds from all over. 

The Arcade Fire arrived in Ottawa fresh from a performance in Quebec City the night before and they brought with them a renewed sense of vibrancy and playfulness. A band celebrated for their use of musical instruments ranging from the electric guitars and keyboards to cellos, xylophones and the wheel fiddle. Their lyrics display a variety of influences from rural french culture and the anxious yearnings of suburban childhood to the haunting imagery of surreal dystopian landscapes. It certainly wasn't a show to be missed.

The band ran out on stage as the lights burst on and they were greeted with a roaring applause. They started the night with a song off their up-coming album appropriately titled "Ready to Start". It was an energetic audience composed of people diverse in both age and background. It was clear that the Arcade Fire truly do bring in a fan base from all walks of life. Anticipation grew as the band played further into their set with memorable performances of songs such as "No Cars Go" and "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)". They also added in a collection of songs from their new album titled "The Suburbs" set to release in North America on August 3rd.

The show was also an exciting new landmark for the Arcade Fire; as they purposed the night before in Quebec City that will match up to $1,000,000 in donations made to the newly formed Kampe, an organization designed to help combat poverty in Haiti. This is an issue that hits close to home for the band as member Régine Chassagne's family emigrated from Haiti during the dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier. During an interview backstage before the show Win Butler stressed the urgency of the situation in Haiti; something he and wife Régine experienced first hand in their 2008 trip to the Caribbean country. In tribute to this, they played the song "Haiti" with fellow band-mate Will Butler brandishing an acoustic guitar with the word Kampe spelled out in it. It was a touching and personal moment for both the musicians on stage and the audience watching it.

Closing the night, Arcade Fire performed an energetic "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" transitioning into "Rebellion (lies)". Spectators were enthralled as Win Butler jumped down into the crowd singing the chorus together with the audience. A double encore followed shortly after featuring a rendition of Happy Birthday for a close friend of the band before playing "Intervention" and finishing with a lively version of "Wake Up". Audience members left the museum grounds that night exhausted and pleased from a full evening of exceptional music.

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