Vallery Jean | Mark Davis, Getty Images Fat Joe is wearing his heart on his sleeve…
- Posted on May 10th 2007 10:00AM by M. Tye Comer
Security at Radio City Music Hall worked triple time trying to keep fans at Arcade Fire's debut gig at the venue under control. And for the most part, they failed.
The band's last of three sold out Manhattan gigs -- and the first of David Bowie's Highline Music Festival shows -- started out as prim and proper as any other stuffy Radio City performance. And frontman Win Butler let the crowd know right off the bat that he wasn't having it.
"Come on, there's plenty of room down front. Let more people up here!" he yelled immediately after the band's first song. A sprinkling of fans drifted from their seats as the crowd came to life, but they were quickly shut down by the flashlight-wielding guards barking orders in the aisles.
That's how things went for most of the band's 90-minute set. Butler pulled; security pushed. Then, he called for straight-up anarchy. "I don't know if you've noticed, but there's only like four security guards down here, and there are a lot of you. So come on, get down here. I mean, what the f*** are they gonna do? Jesus!"
Then Arcade Fire launched into 'Power Out' and the proverbial hell broke loose.
A hundred people swarmed the aisles and pushed frustrated security members to the side as they made their way to the stage, with the most fired-up fans taking on two or three guards at once. So much chaos ensued that perfectionist Butler fumbled the words to the song. (His response? A hearty laugh followed by an "Ah, f*** it.") The tide eventually turned when Butler entered the audience himself to lead a loud-as-f*** sing-along of 'Rebellion.' Finally, the red coats waved their white flags and let the fist-pumping crowd have their way.
Let's see the Rockettes pull that off.