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SmashMouth 05-07-2011 08:05 AM

Aracade Fire brings the house down at the Jazz Fest.
I wish I had been able to go this year!

Arcade Fire lived up to the hype at the New Orleans Jazz Fest |

Before the "The Suburbs" was named the long-shot winner for best album of 2010, frontman Win Butler, his wife, multi-instrumentalist Regine Chassagne, and their cohorts bashed away on "Month of May," a noisy, decidedly unmelodic rocker.
After their unexpected win, they returned with "Ready to Start," a far more palatable anthem that evokes the Clash at their most melodic.
Arcade Fire favored that crowd-pleasing side of their personality at the Acura Stage with a thrilling, fully engaged and fully engaging performance.
Butler and company said all the right things. The musicians had apparently visited the Fair Grounds on Thursday, soaking in the Jazz Fest atmosphere. They cited New Orleans culture as a constant source of inspiration. They plugged the Haitian band RAM, with whom they have collaborated, and noted that the world must not forget Haiti's disaster, nor New Orleans'.
Butler even revealed himself to be something of a student of the NBA. "It must be satisfying that the Lakers are down 2-0," he said, a shout-out to local fans still smarting from the Lakers' playoff elimination of the Hornets.
But Arcade Fire came primarily to play, not pander, and play they did.
They are the sort of band that Jazz Fest needs to book: Smart, contemporary, of the moment, killer onstage, yet not afraid to deploy an accordion, fiddles or even a hurdy-gurdy, the medieval cranked instrument that turned up in "Keep the Car Running."

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