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With their cathedrals of sound, this Montreal collective built a fiercely loyal fan base in the 2000s, a following that counted rock heroes like David Byrne and David Bowie as members. The band's sound - a mix of slashed strings, blaring brass, pounded percussion, and Win Butler's spooked croon - was smart and dramatic enough to earn Springsteen comparisons, and the group's two world-class albums from the decade (2004's Funeral and 2007's Neon Bible) prove that sometimes bigger is better.
Arcade Fire is led by the husband-wife team of Win Butler (a Houston native who moved to Montreal after attending a New England boarding school to focus on music) and Rï¿½gine Chassagne (a daughter of Haitian refugees who has performed jazz and medieval music in the past). They met in 2003, when Chassagne was singing at an art exhibit, and it wasn't long before they knew they wanted to make music together. Other participants fell into their orbit and Arcade Fire was born. Jeremy Gara (drums), Richard Parry (bass), Sarah Neufeld (violin), William Butler (keyboard) and Tim Kingsbury (guitar) all helped form the band's unique sound. Most of the musicians play a variety of instruments on stage, and from the start Arcade Fire was been lauded for its ecstatic shows which often found band members at work in front of provocative video montages.
Released October 29, Reflektor was hailed by Rolling Stone as "extraordinary...the best album Arcade Fire have ever made." It was the second Arcade Fire album to debut at #1, the first being 2010's Album of the Year Grammy Award-winner The Suburbs. The band's appearance on the 39th season premiere of Saturday Night Live was followed by the band's own half-hour special, Here Comes The Night Time, directed by Roman Coppola and featuring Arcade Fire live performances and cameos from Aziz Ansari, Bono, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Bill Hader, Ben Stiller, Rainn Wilson and more.