INGLEWOOD >> Arcade Fire turned The Forum into a one gigantic, colorful singalong during its second Los Angeles area stop Saturday.
The Canadian group, which plays everything from art rock to baroque pop, displayed a veteran's confidence in selecting crowd favorites, oddball covers and psychedelic stage sets at the crowded Inglewood venue, which the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival headliner previously performed at on Friday night.
Starting with opener “Reflektor” off last year's “Reflektor” album to “The Suburbs” from their Grammy winning 2010 album “The Suburbs,” the band concluded its show with “Wake Up.” During the confetti filled closer, off 2004 album “Funeral,” the enthusiasm — from the band and fans alike — never subsided.
“‘Wake Up' is such a great singalong song,” said Taylor Griley, 27, of Long Beach after the show, who added he was pleased with the entire set. “They even stopped playing it and everyone was singing acapella like ‘ahhhh ahhhh ahhhh.'”
Arcade Fire. led by lanky lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Win Butler, played nearly two hours of energetic singles and album cuts from the group's four full-length album career.
During the encore, the group covered a note-for-note introduction of Guns N' Roses' “Welcome to the Jungle” before the song merged into “Here Comes the Night Time,” again off the band's “Reflektor” album. They even sprinkled in a partial cover of the instrumental “Axel F,” better known as the theme song from the 1984 movie, “Beverly Hills Cop.”
The movie soundtrack song was played in response to a group coming out on the middle stage called The Reflektors (really just a phony group wearing big bobble heads) who acted like they were performing a cover of Rage Against The Machine's “Killing in the Name.”
In Arcade Fire fashion, the show was not without a political slant. Before the group's latest single promoting what they've said is marriage equality “We Exist,” Butler said: “Maybe one (expletive) day we'll all be able to marry where we want.”
After Butler started singing, a platform in the middle of The Forum started rising. Then what looked like five men, all wearing cut-off jean shorts, shirts and heels, performed choreographed dance moves to even more cheering.
Régine Chassagne, Butler's wife, nearly stole the show at times with her talented vocals on “Haiti,” “It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)” and “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).”
Before singing “Sprawl,” she performed “It's Never Over” on the rising platform in the middle of the floor with three other people dressed in costume. As the rest of the band played the Damian Taylor remix instrumental to “Sprawl,” Chassagne got off the riser and took a side exit with security in front holding a flashlight to help her get back to the main stage.
When she started singing, it was as if she didn't miss a beat.
Fans said the appeal of Arcade Fire is because of their musical diversity and consistency.
“It's not just loud noise. You can hear the exact instrument with each song,” said Irene Galvant, 27, of Upland.
A.J. Hall, 28, of Los Angeles added with each album they have taken the right steps to remain relevant and exciting.
“As they've progressed through the years, I've remained a big fan,” Hall said. “I love the new album (‘Reflektor'). It's so big and fun.”
Opening acts included The Unicorns, who jokingly thanked Bill Gates for the animated drawings on the large screen behind them and said “Free Palestine” during its set, and Dan Deacon, who lead a fun dance party to warm up The Forum crowd.
On Monday, Arcade Fire travels to the Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara.
Follow Wes Woods on Twitter: @JournoWes