Last night Arcade Fire and The National played their third New York show of the week, and the first show of the inaugural High Line Festival (which kicked off at Radio City Music Hall). David Bowie, co-founder and curator of the festival and Arcade Fire's #1 fan, was in attendance but didn't perform with the band as expected. He also didn't announce the kick off to the festival - nor does he seem to know what the High Line actually is. Ah, rock stars.
The real story seems to be one that took place off-stage. The Gowanus Lounge has a full report on the fights that broke out and "the manhandling of at least one fan by Radio City security" at last night's show.
"It all started late in the show when Arcade Fire's Win Butler urged the audience to come up to the stage. "Jesus Fucking Christ," he said. "Come up here. What can they do to you?"
What they could do, it turned out, was rush you, jump you, beat you and drag you from Radio City in a headlock...The action kicked off between Rows AA and GG in the aisle between the 300 and 400 section of the orchestra when someone took Mr. Butler at his word and pushed past ushers...At that point, about a half-dozen employees descended on him, trying to stop him. They pushed him into the seats and we saw at least one (and possibly more) of the Radio City security employees punching the concert goer...seeing someone who's done nothing wrong other than try to get near the stage getting jumped and punched rather fucks with our concert experience. We wouldn't say it was a savage beating, but security was punching the gentleman.
After the show, we approached a supervisor and asked why excessive force had been used. She told us to mind our own business and denied that anything improper had happened."
Tuesday night at United Palace Theater, Win Butler also invited the entire audience up on stage with the band and everything seemed to go smoothly. While a rush of fans towards the stage may get the security on guard, this has happened before without anyone getting hurt - punching fans (and denying it!) is a little bit out of control.
More photos from the show last night, below.
Photos by Jake Dobkin.