While touring for its heavily rhythmic “Reflektor,” Arcade Fire has made a habit of delivering regional covers. The band has tackled Kansas in Kansas City, the Smiths in London and even Boyz II Men in Philadelphia.
The Grammy Award-winners followed suit this weekend at the Forum, showcasing a snippet of Guns N’ Roses and Jane’s Addiction on Friday, and “Axel F,” the “Beverly Hills Cop” theme song, on Saturday.
On Friday, as frontman Win Butler donned one of the tour’s now signature giant bobbleheads, Arcade Fire delved into L.A. natives Jane’s Addiction’s “Been Caught Stealing”. Butler even collected a couple handfuls of cellphones from fans in the front row.
The track faded after about two minutes as a few of the Canadian group’s multi-instrumentalists eased into a snippet of Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle.” Although a short tease, the bit was a tuneful bridge into the thumping intro of Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor” jam, “Here Comes the Night Time.”
On Saturday, Butler quickly noted, “All right, here we go, sound clash,” before the band ignited the trademark synths of “Axel F” from “Beverly Hills Cop.” “It was actually written about Axl Rose, people don’t often realize that,” Butler joked (actually, it was named after the main character in the film).
The tune persisted for another minute and a half before ending with distorted muffs. “Remember, kids, stay in school,” Butler quipped before the band followed with its own thrasher, “Normal Person.”