Not even thirty seconds into the Arcade Fire's set at the 9:30 Club last night, I was overcome with a passionate desire to know that I would be experiencing this exact same set in the veryveryvery near future. Like, it hadn't even happened yet and I desperately wanted it to happen again. A strange, yet beautiful, feeling. It's like love, fleeting and tumultuous, but incomprehensibly magical when it finally arrives. Obviously, it arrived for me last night.
I guess I can sum it up best by declaring it the closest thing to Neutral Milk Hotel that I have witnessed since... well, since Neutral Milk Hotel. Eight people on stage, playing in a seizure-like frenzy, stunning the crowd into awed silence. As I walked out of the club, I overheard people bitching about how "lame" the crowd was. I saw it completely differently. Between songs, NOBODY was talking. This wasn't because they weren't having fun. It was because they were witnessing something truly transcendent. It wasn't just "a band" playing "some songs." It was a spiritual moment in time.
I'm obviously disappointed that they're going to be playing here tomorrow and Wednesday night and I'm not going to be there, but I at least have my clearheaded memory of last night's performance, which I won't be forgetting for a long, long time. For those of you fortunate enough to have tickets, be thankful. I will be there in spirit.
(Turns out, they're going to be on "Conan" tomorrow (Tuesday) night, so watch it for sure. They seemed genuinely thrilled by the absurdity of their success. I hope they play one of the more rocking songs, but they might tone it down for television. Either way, it's an event not to be missed.)