Arcade Fire Should Always Sound Like They Did During “Sprawl II” on SNL

Sometimes good fortune combines with sleep deprivation in the best possible way, like on Saturday night when we woke up just in time for Arcade Fire’s second performance on Saturday Night Live but didn’t have to watch the rest of the show. Seen through groggy eyes, the band’s live version of “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” was revelatory. Sure, Régine Chassagne’s voice sounded shaky, to say the least, but the whole tone of that song is shaky, to say the least. On The Suburbs, when Chassagne sings about millennial malaise, there is no attendant anxiety in her vocal. She actually sounds kind of satisfied and warm. Maybe Canadian’s are just less stressed about it? Who knows. But in New York, people can’t even say “happy birthday” without it ringing a little agitated, so when her voice breaks and bumps against her range’s ceiling, it feels a lot more appropriate. The band sounds better, too, confined to the small stage, all close to each other, ill Tron suits misfiring. And then Chassagne pulls out the streamers and it’s just like being on the C train on Saturday night. Weird action!

Check the more or less eventful performance of “We Used to Wait” from SNL after the jump, in which Win Butler steps on some dude’s groin.

POSTED November 15, 2010 12:30PM IN MUSIC VIDEO Comments (7) TAGS: , ,




  1. ummm says:

    Peter, are you ok? That was the worst performance I’ve seen of her. She literally can’t hold a note. We dont’ even need to talk about the dancing /streamers.

  2. Peter Macia says:

    Yes I’m fine! Thank you for asking.

  3. ummm says:

    was my comment censored?

  4. Peter Macia says:

    I don’t believe so.

  5. B says:

    Don’t even like Arcade fire, to grown up for the teeny-bopper indie rock thing, but this was a beautiful performance of an even more beautiful song. If they could sound like this all the time, I might be sold. Simply stunning. Regine’s voice is doesn’t need to be perfect, it wouldn’t fit the song anyway. I’m gonna try to find a list of all the stuff she lead sang for the band.

  6. Win Butler says:

    Regine is a very talented woman, and I am proud to call her my wife.

  7. Chad says:

    Yes! I own two AF albums, but I’ve never heard them like this. I almost wanted to stand up and appaud in my living room after Sprawl. Her voice was cracking in a Cyndi Lauper-like way, and it totally worked! I too wish they always sounded like this. It was a transcendent performance.

    You are not alone.