Arcade Fire 'Secret' Show @ Ukrainian Cultural Center, 2/11/11
What a week! LA is a funny place. Bands think they can just come into town and surprise people and shit. Secret clues, tiny venues, what's up guys? The Foo Fighters first with their Twitter treasure hunt and then the Arcade Fire got all up in it too. We need schedules, people. On sale dates, pre-sale info, etcetera! Just like it's been done forever. Now this new-fangled Twitter thing lets you up and surprise us with brain teasers that turn our lives upside down and have us waiting in lines and camping overnight just for a chance to see you at a tiny venue. On behalf of all of Los Angeles I think it is my place to say....DON'T STOP!! It is totally fucking awesome!
A week ago Scott Rodger, Arcade Fire’s manager, posted this on his Twitter, "Where would be the best small venue in LA to do a really great show for Arcade Fire? Any ideas?" As you can imagine this sent Los Angeles into a frenzy. The Troubadour! The Fonda! Spaceland! The Ukrainian Cultural Center! Wait, what!?!?! The building, adjacent to LACC and to local’s favorite gelato shop Scoops, was the obvious choice. Not really, but it ended up being a tremendous venue and certainly a unique one.
When ticket sale locations for Friday's "secret show" were revealed via Twitter clues late Thursday night, fans began lining up and sleeping outside in hopes of scoring a wristband. The lucky 400 hundred that did were treated to a patented Arcade Fire performance in the great expanse that was the Ukrainian Cultural Center. The seven-piece band filled the cavernous space with sound and rhythm, with frontman Win Butler inciting everyone to “leave it all on the floor.” Seven people on stage putting their complete all into a performance is a special thing to witness. Anchored by the husband/wife duo of Butler and Régine Chassagne, the collective's tracks swelled and bulged with the weight of growing-up themes and played out like a page from Springsteen in phrasing and structure all lending itself to an emotional experience for both the band and the concertgoer.