Arcade Fire Hit ‘SNL,’ Perform ‘Reflektor’ and ‘Afterlife’ on Season Premiere
Arcade Fire blazed and boogied on ‘SNL’ last night (Sept. 28) as the venerable sketch show kicked off its 39th season. The Montreal combo performed ‘Reflektor,’ the title track from their forthcoming fourth album, as well as the new tune ‘Afterlife,’ another brainy and buoyant art-disco workout emblematic of their new sound.
The ‘SNL’ season premiere marked the return of former cast member Tina Fey, who held down hosting duties, but the night belonged to Arcade Fire, as NBC followed the broadcast with a special 30-minute ‘Here Comes the Night’ concert, featuring another three ‘Reflektor’ tunes and a cameos from the likes of Bono, Michael Cera and Ben Stiller.
Viewers who crashed right after ‘SNL’ were still in for quite the treat. On ‘Reflektor,’ Arcade Fire leaders Win Butler and Régine Chassagne led a supersized ensemble outfitted in snazzy black duds, and during one segment of the seven-minute epic, Chassagne kicked up the theatricality by climbing into a kind of mirrored fish tank on the side of the stage.
With ‘Afterlife,’ which shuffles along on a blipping keyboard riff, Arcade Fire opted for all white. Performing sans guitar, as he’d done on ‘Reflektor,’ Butler grooved to the music as he recalled adventures in the great hereafter.
“The afterlife: I think I saw what happens next,” he sings, the ‘Blade Runner’-esque face paint making him look like a man to trust. Butler’s crossed the line between life and death, and he’s got a bunch of smarty-guy bangers to show for it. Or maybe he’s just been hanging out with Bowie. Watch ‘Reflektor’ above, ‘Afterlife’ below and decide.
Watch Arcade Fire Perform ‘Afterlife’ on ‘SNL’