Arcade Fire and The Zombies played the Greek Theatre on Sept. 20. For a band like Arcade Fire, this was a more intimate show. It was an odd pairing having a band like The Zombies, which has been around close to 60 years, opening for a younger band like Arcade Fire but it went together well. It was easy to see by the crowd that some older fans had come just for the Zombies. The younger Arcade Fire fans got to see one of rock’s greatest groups open for one of today’s biggest groups.
I was really looking forward to seeing The Zombies especially since I didn’t have the chance to see them on their tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of Odyssey and Oracle and their show at the Troubadour just a few days before. The original Zombies reunited for their Odyssey and Oracle anniversary tour last year. Since then drummer Hugh Grundy and bassist Chris White have retired from the group leaving vocalist Colin Blunstone and keyboardist/founder Rod Argent the only original members still performing. Earlier this year their bassist of the last 14 years Jim Rodford passed away and was replaced by Soren Koch. For the last 14 years, Steve Rodford has been The Zombies regular drummer and Tom Toomey as their guitarist the past 8 years. The Zombies' 45-minute set included their hits “She’s Not There,” “Tell Her No,” “Time Of The Season” and several songs off Odyssey and Oracle.
Arcade Fire has been around nearly two decades but really blew up with their third album The Suburbs, which won Grammy Album of the Year in 2011. Since then Arcade Fire has been playing more arena-size venues but scaled it down for this show which was one of their last three shows before Life is Beautiful festival and the start of recording their next album. It was fitting that the band picked their debut album Funeral to play in its entirety for this evening as the venue was a good fit for it and the band was able to make a special snowfall effect as they opened the show. To top it off there was a big disco ball hanging from the top of the stage. The band’s outfits went along with the album to give the show a more somber feeling. For 2.5 hours Arcade Fire played a show broken into two sets with the first being Funeral and the second set including songs from their albums Reflektor, Neon Bible, The Suburbs and Everything Now.
For being a frequent concert-goer it’s easy to say that Arcade Fire is one of today’s best bands to see live. It was fun seeing a band with a number of members that run around and play multiple instruments. From opening set two with “Reflektor” to ending with “Everything Now” from their latest album, this show was quite a spectacle. Arcade Fire played two nights after this show at the Greek Theatre in Berkley, CA and a headlining performance at Life is Beautiful.