CONCERT REVIEW: Arcade Fire at Wells Fargo Center

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Photo by Eric Tsurumoto.

One might assume a holiday like St. Patrick’s Day would hinder a band’s drawing power in a city as infamously Irish as Philly. But for Arcade Fire last night, all it really did was throw a emerald hue over a crowd of thousands — many of whom showed up honoring the band’s “formal & costume” dress code in some obnoxious green get-up or another.

At 8:45 p.m. sharp, the band emerged on a small, dimly lit stage toward the center of the arena, plodding through an abbreviated “My Body Is A Cage” before sprinting to the main stage of shimmering lights and mirrors for the proper opener, “Reflektor.”

While the night considerably favored tracks from their latest record, the band hardly shied away from old favorites like “Neighborhood #1,” “No Cars Go,” and the beloved finale, “Wake Up.”



Elaborate costumes, coruscating rotating backdrops and the group’s visceral delivery were more than enough to make up for frontman Win Butler’s occasional fumbling through his own lyrics — (“Ready To Start” started, ironically, with the wrong verse, but a sheepish grin on Butler’s part was all it took to render the flub endearing.)

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PHOTOS: Lumineers and Dr. Dog at the 2013 XPoNential Music Festival

Saturday might’ve been the banner day for WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival, with its healthy mix of mainstream acts, up-and-coming talent, seasoned legends and hometown heroes. (Although the Friday night/Saturday morning XPoNential after-party with Gogol Bordello was pretty epic, too. Photos here.)

Dr. John and Trampled by Turtles proved to be among the highlights of the daytime sets at Wiggins park. The veteran Dr. John’s jangly bayou big band and crusty Cajun growl were a nice complement to TbT’s updated alt rock- and paisley-inspired bluegrass.

As the sun began to set, attendees made their way to the adjacent Susquehanna Bank Center in time for Philly’s own Dr. Dog. “Most of you — well, probably all of you — are here for The Lumineers,” bassist-vocalist Toby Leaman acknowledged shortly after taking the stage. But the humble admission did not detract from the band’s air-tight, energetic live performance, for which they’ve garnered plenty of deserved praise over the years.

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