Jesus at The Arcade Fire concert

“This concert experience was totally different because of what we did at church this morning,” said Kailey, a fellow New Hoper who sat (stood dancing) beside me at the Arcade Fire explosion last night.   She’s right.  It was… for me too.  I must have seen twenty of the the same people who were in church that morning, that night at the Corral.  And there really was something about the correlation between what happened Sunday morning and what happened Sunday night.  That morning we’d sung/listened to four of same songs they played that night.  That morning I spoke about the “child-like” authenticity, forthrightness and integrity of the band.  That night I saw it expressed in each of the band members, via their dance, their voices, and their intense facial expressions.  That morning I spoke about AF’s stinging indictment of the modern man – our empty, sleepy, suburbs; our weak worldview capitulated lives; how we’re all in line for a number but we don’t understand –  and that night all of the prophetic power of those sentiments came down to bear on that Calgary crowd.  

That morning I spoke of listening to the music and, at times, feeling the Spirit of God hovering over the lyrics.  That night, as Arcade Fire sang Intervention, church organ keyboards in the background, it felt like Jesus was in the room… indicting the “faithful” for their failure to love others as they love themselves.   That morning I took three quotes from the song and interpersed them with three quotes from Jesus (directed at the hypocritical, judgmental Pharisee religious leaders);

“Working for the church, While your family dies
You take what they give you, And you keep it inside”  Arcade Fire

 “Moses gave you this law from God: ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ In this way, you let [people] disregard their needy parents.” Jesus in Mark 7:10-12, NLT

“Who’s gonna throw the very first stone?  Oh!  Who’s gonna reset the bone?  Walking with your head in a sling…” Arcade Fire

 “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Jesus, John 8:7, KJV

 “Been working for the church, while your life falls apart. Singing hallelujah with the fear in your heart, every spark of friendship and love will die without a home.” Arcade Fire

 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to….you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness… You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean… “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”  Jesus in Matthew 23, various passages

And then after I read all six quotes I said, “Jesus speaking back then – directly – and today, via Arcade Fire… ”  That night, as I stood there scanning the congregation, it felt like the scenes were reversed!  That morning we brought Arcade Fire into church.  That night Jesus showed up at their concert.  Powerful.





8 thoughts on “Jesus at The Arcade Fire concert

  1. Shannon

    We were right behind the soundboard and I did wear earplugs to control the volume 😉 The energy and passion was fantastic!! It was just so fab to see a band made up of people who give themselves over to their gift so fully. It made me want to be brave…

    “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1). I felt tremendous FREEDOM in participating in the Arcade Fire ‘experience.’ It was exhilarating to join with so many, in songs that seemed like anthems. I kept expecting the words to be projected on the (many!) screens as I opened my heart to the beauty of it all.

  2. Kailey

    Its hard to sum up and evening such as what we were treated to, but the previous comments do a great job. I’ve never experienced a show in the way that I did last night. It made me want to BE a child again. To dance and twirl and stomp and sing as loud as I could…and I did…except for the twirling part (there just wasn’t the room to safely twirl with wild abandon). One of the profound moments for me was during the song Rebellion (Lies). It was something special to witness from above hundreds of fists pumping to “Every time you close your eyes…lies…lies”, a collective protest to the lies that the world tells us…and ultimately what the devil wants us to hear. After preparing for Sunday morning and the message, it completely changed the way I lived in the moment and listened to the music by hearing Gods truth being shouted to the masses…I get it now and I can’t wait for the next show…

  3. Jacqui

    My husband and I were also at New Hope yesterday morning and luckily were offered tickets for the concert in the afternoon. We’ve been at New Hope for a little while and last night I totally realized that I’m definitely seeing Everything Differently. I realized that there is nowhere that I don’t belong because there is nowhere that God cannot be, nowhere He isn’t speaking something. Does that make sense? I asked myself the whole time…Where is God? What’s pointing to him right now? And plain and simple LOVED THE CONCERT.

  4. Noah The Photographer

    Methinks I need better earplugs. Loved hanging out with the B&M and my wife but all I heard the entire show was a wall of bass. Couldn’t make out any other instruments beyond the bass drum and bass guitar (which sounded like a muddy mess). Although on the bright side the church bands performance on Sunday blew away my actual Arcade Fire show experience. Kudos to the church band!

  5. Zaakistan

    I got to be in one of the best positions I have ever been for a concert – on the floor, right at the gate (2 meters from the band), with friends, watching a band I have enjoyed deeply for 5 years. After the show, Gary said it was one of the best concert experiences he has ever had – no pushing, no fights, great view, etc. I agree. From a concert perspective, these guys draw a great crowd (except for the guy who threw his beer at the guitarist) and they put on a stupendous show! Oh yeah, I caught a drum stick too – ha!

    The power of the music, the theology in the morning at church and Arcade Fire’s live interpretation made the evening that much more powerful. One of my favorite songs is Rococo – a song about today’s kids being entranced by emptiness, lavish materialism, and their fake feral nature. (Rococo is an art era marked by meaningless swirls, gaudy decor and French despotic rule that is beheaded decades later for their disregard for real justice) The song on the album almost seems playful, peppy. Live, it is an ominous experience, an angry trudge. Win asks at one point, shouting “What is this horrible song they’re singing?” I had shivers. He’s singing about deception, lies, being duped and he’s genuinely reviled by it.

    The theatrics were awesome! Two of the musicians were especially furious in their playing: William Butler (keyboards, percussion, and shouting) and Richard Parry (everything). At one point William beats a drum, but actually beats it into a pulp during Power Out – a song about kids reclaiming life after humankind is found to be dead (empty hearts). There’s a physical response, not just words. Actions, not only faith. Régine Chassagne, the female lead singer and multi-instrumentalist does an amazing job flitting around the stage like a pixie or angel or oracle. Her songs are less angry, more desire – singing about Haiti or about how disappointing the suburban sprawl is. Her dancing evokes new life, rebirth, purity.

    The Spirit of God was definitely at the show, not only brought by those of us from New Hope Church, but by all of the desires for something more in all the fans. Brought by the thousands of fans who are drawn not by glamour and veneer, but by the gritty chafe against it. Brought by artists who have forged their talents into magnificence. Brought by a God who asks “What are my children doing, letting their hearts fill with nothing? What are my people doing making religion a mockery of justice?”

  6. Brandon

    For me the power in this concert was the community of our church. The whole time during the show I was thinking and feeling connected to you and Fran, Gary, James and Shannon, Zaak an his lovely wife, Jeff and Catherine, Miguel and Kailey, Brian and Sarah, Noah and Jess, and I know so many others that were apart of our collective community. The connection sharing that show was unlike any other show I have ever been to. It was intense, powerful, beautiful and moving. And yet the connection between what the band was saying and expressing in their music, and the lense in which we looked at them in church this morning was truly relevant and I felt God’s spirit in that connection. So cool to see god everywhere. “where can I run from your spirit”

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