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Last night Gothamist headed over to Irving to catch the Head Set...but missed them. After watching a few songs by Gang Gang Dance (a band which Gothamist did not care for, at all, in fact it motivated us to depart Irving all together) we headed to Mercury Lounge to see if we could catch the much buzzed about band the Arcade Fire.

We got there early and caught Lou Barlow's set. Barlow is known from bands like Dinosaur Jr, Folk Implosion and Sebadoh. Last night he did an acoustic set with a guitar, keys and his new loop pedal. Sitting on the stage steps we were nearly lulled to sleep (in a good way) and needed to combat the sweet slow songs with thoughts of the 1am Arcade Fire set.

The early morning hour rolled around quickly and we found ourselves in the front of a packed room, energy dripping from the ceilings...everyone was ready for something. The band members took the stage and it was as if we were suddenly in a vintage musical instrument shop with seven extroverted, talented, ready to rock Canadians. Each running from instrument to instrument, some wearing helmets and most all of them at one point or another picking up drum sticks and hitting everything in site. We had heard their album previous to this show, but seeing them live and recreating this music was something beyond description.

2004_10_artsarcadefire3.jpgToday someone described them to us as seeming "unprofessional" on stage. This is probably what we loved most, except we translated it differently. They seemed innocent to us. Like they had just discovered the world and were showing us what they were seeing. Hopefully as they gain more experience they won't lose this innocence. Gothamist thinks they'll be just fine as they become more than just "the flavor of the month", this band revived our faith in the music scene last night. We couldn't think of a better way to kick off CMJ.

According to the Merge site The Arcade Fire are Win Butler, Win's little brother Will, Régine Chassagne, Richard Parry, Tim Kingsbury...but we could have sworn there were seven of them on stage last night.

You can stream some of their songs online and after that we suggest you go buy their cd and tickets to the next show near you (sorry, Bowery already sold out!)

[photos from Brooklyn Vegan and Stereogum]