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3RD JULY 2014

After their euphoric Friday night headline slot at Glastonbury we headed to see Arcade Fire play Hyde Park as part of the British Summertime gigs and the last European date on their acclaimed Reflektor tour. The now familiar masked characters, the Reflektors took to the stage at 8.30pm announcing that “for perhaps the last time, we’re Arcade Fire”, before beginning ‘Rebellion Lies’. Seconds later, Win Butler and the rest of the band marched out from the wings, stopping them in their tracks, before launching emphatically into ‘Normal Person’.

They played a career spanning set featuring songs from all 4 of their albums, including several which didn’t feature in their Glastonbury set, including ‘Crown of Love’, which Butler dedicated to ‘anyone who bought Funeral when it came out’.

A mutual feeling of euphoria united the crowd for the entire gig as the sun set on the hottest day of the year in the centre of Hyde Park, creating a musical oasis which felt very detached from the surrounding sprawl of London. The band fused a vast array of genres from pared down folk to glam disco as they demonstrated the extent of their talents on a multitude of different musical instruments.

They ended their repertoire on ‘Sprawl II’ before the Reflektors (including members of the Wild Beasts, who had played earlier) took to the stage again with a giant papier-mache figure of the pope, to the sounds of ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ by the Rolling Stones, who set foot on the same stage the same time last year.

‘Sshh don’t wake the rich people up!’ announced Butler as the band returned for an encore, making light of the complaints of the local residents about the park staging the concerts. Confetti cannons exploded over the enraptured fans during the final songs and they ended the gig with a rousing rendition of ‘Wake Up’, complete with tens of thousands of backing singers with their arms aloft, all revelling in the opportunity to see what is likely to be the bands last gig in London for quite some time.