At about 10:20 p.m. Sunday, a panic swept through the grounds of the
So while Butler was careful to repeatedly stress how "happy" he was to be at Coachella, teasing the audience with a Daft Punk appearance is tantamount to giving much of it a middle finger. That's OK; Butler over the last two weeks has seemed to recognize that Coachella could use a little shaking up. At the first weekend of the fest, he slammed Coachella's crowded VIP offerings and then took a moment to praise the bands "still playing instruments at this festival."
It's a little punk rock, and it's a good look for the band (certainly better than Butler's raccoon-eyes facepaint).
"The right to marry anyone you want is a human rights issue," Butler said before introducing the new song "We Exist," a track Butler said was written about a son trying to explain to his father that he's gay. The frontman then connected Coachella's hipster attendees to the Woodstock generation, urging the crowd to get behind a cause. They may not have listened, but they certainly seemed to hear "We Exist," as its amped-up "Thriller"-like groove succeeded in getting them to move.
Joined at times by members of the
The band is still a jubilant one. Régine Chassagne's excitement was infectious when she controlled the drum set on "No Cars Go," during which Butler was creating digital sounds that seemed as if they were communicating with a space station. One could also spend a whole Arcade Fire show simply keeping an eye on violinist Sarah Neufeld, watching her channel nostalgia on "The Suburbs" and then building the tension on "Crown of Love."
During its Coachella set, the Arcade Fire also announced that it will be headlining The Forum on Aug. 1 and Aug. 2. A pre-sale begins April 24 and the general on-sale begins April 26.