Five reasons not to miss Arcade Fire’s Sunday night Mandalay Bay show

Arcade Fire plays Mandalay Bay Events Center on October 22.
Photo: Guy Aroch / Courtesy

It’s at a property to which we need to return. For Arcade Fire’s third-ever Las Vegas performance and first local arena show, the Montreal sextet—which expands to a nine-piece in concert—finds itself playing Mandalay Bay, where a shooter on the 32nd floor killed 58 people and wounded many more at a nearby music festival on October 1. Since then, there have been earnest pushes to destigmatize the property and get people coming back. Music fans can support Mandalay Bay and its employees by heading over for dinner and/or drinks, then watching one of the most popular rock bands in the world perform.

It aims to be a celebratory show. The Infinite Content tour is no bummer. The reliably rhythmic and inspiriting Arcade Fire is keeping things almost entirely upbeat, if (largely positive) reviews and setlists of previous shows are any indication. Expect the overwhelming majority of the numbers to move your hips, from boisterous rave-ups like “Here Comes the Night Time,” “Reflektor” and “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)” to the pulsing title track and “Put Your Money on Me” from this year’s Everything Now. Even a midtempo number like “The Suburbs” bounces with buoyancy, and torch song “My Body Is a Cage” ends with an uplifting crescendo.

Prepare to sing along. You don’t get to book an arena tour without having amassed a formidable catalog of beloved songs—and several of Arcade Fire’s favorites are already part of the indie canon. The audience will undoubtedly whoaaaa through anthems “Wake Up” and “No Cars Go,” la-la during four-on-the-floor rouser “Rebellion (Lies)” and attempt to match the upper-register notes of instrumentalist/singer Régine Chassagne during “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”

Support indie rock shows. In a year where pop, hip-hop and country have outshined rock on Las Vegas stages, indie-leaning music has fared badly in terms of booking frequency and attendance, potentially sending a message to agents and entertainment directors that such shows aren’t worth the risk. Unless one finds the sounds of Chassagne and frontman Win Butler’s voices as shudder-inducing as stumbling through a spider web, fans of post-punk, art rock and/or synth pop have themselves a can’t-miss show—especially if they have yet to witness Arcade Fire perform in the flesh.

Opening act Angel Olsen. Speaking of left-of-center acts, it’s hard to imagine a local venue that would have taken a chance on the singer-songwriter on her own, so consider Olsen’s support slot as your one shot to see her. Not only is her artistry compelling and broad—she stylistically spanned the rock gamut on last year’s acclaimed My Woman—she’s a spitfire of a performer. For a representative sample of her pop smarts and dynamo delivery, stream single “Shut Up, Kiss Me”—and arrive early on Sunday for the real-life rendition.

Arcade Fire October 22, 8 p.m., $26-$85. Mandalay Bay Events Center, 702-632-7777.

Tags: Music, Concert
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