Arcade Fire @ DAR Constitution Hall

Why does this band play quiet songs? It's such a waste.

And it's never more obvious than when they drop all the crappy leftovers from indie rock (precious self-denial, sad-sack cutup lyrics, distrust of rhythms and anthems), quit babbling vague Holden Caulfield mumbo jumbo and shake some serious action.

There's one thing Arcade Fire do well, and they do it very, very well. That's the crescendo. The percussion locks in, the tempo and volume push upward into fifth gear, and everybody chants their head off. You can just soak it in. And it feels great.

So why do they even bother with the other stuff? It was obvious last night at the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall, where the crowd slept through the dirge-filled middle section of the show, only to burst to life when the band got back to the loud stuff.

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