‘Business as usual’: Back in concert, Arcade Fire sidesteps allegations against Butler
Days after four people accused Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler of sexual misconduct and assault, the band kicked off its European tour seemingly without a hitch in Ireland.
“If anyone was wondering, it’s business as usual for Arcade Fire,” tweeted podcast host Jason Carty, who attended the group’s Tuesday show at Dublin’s 3Arena. .
Carty posted video of the band performing its anthemic hit “The Suburbs,” the titular song from its Grammy-winning 2010 album. While Butler led the chorus, a crowded arena of fans clapped and sang along.
Another Twitter user tweeted that “Arcade Fire came out to rapturous applause” when opening its set with “Wake Up.” Journalist Christine Bohan, who was also in attendance, noted that the “crowd immediately seems to be on their side.”
Four women have raised sexual misconduct allegations against Win Butler, according to a report. The Arcade Fire frontman contends that the encounters were ‘consensual.’
Others, however, noticed that Butler did not directly make a statement about the allegations against him. A Reddit user said Butler “opened by thanking ‘everyone from the bottom of his heart’ for coming out.”
“It felt like a half a— acknowledgement of events and then it was sort of business as usual,” the post read.
According to a Saturday report from Pitchfork, three women alleged that Butler’s misconduct occurred between 2016 and 2020 when they were between the ages of 18 and 23 and Butler was between 36 and 39. A fourth accuser, who identifies as gender-fluid, alleged that Butler sexually assaulted them twice in 2015 when they were 21.
Butler, who has been married to bandmate Régine Chassagne since 2003, denied the allegations and said he had “consensual relationships outside of my marriage.”
The Canadian band’s sixth album tries to recapture the skyscraping arena-rock of their earlier efforts, with mixed results.
Chassagne also issued a statement supporting her husband, writing in part: “I know what is in his heart, and I know he has never, and would never, touch a woman without her consent and I am certain he never did.”
Fans weren’t the only ones with Butler’s allegations in mind at Tuesday’s concert. Feist, the Canadian singer-songwriter who opened the show, will donate all proceeds from her merchandise sales to Women’s Aid Dublin, according to photos from the merch stand. Women’s Aid Dublin is an organization that works to stop domestic abuse in Ireland.
While it seems to be the “1234” hitmaker’s first time donating to Women’s Aid Dublin, Feist has previously championed organizations that support women and children who have been abused.
Times staff writers Stacy Perman and August Brown contributed to this report.
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