indie rock band, Arcade Fire was formed in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Formed around the husband and wife duo of Win Butler and R?gine Chassagne it currently includes Richard Reed Parry, William Butler, Tim Kingsbury, Sarah Neufeld and Jeremy Gara. The current lineup solidified in late 2003/early 2004. Before their first full-length album Funeral, an eponymous EP had been sold at early shows and was eventually re-mastered. Funeral debuted in September 2004 in Canada and in February 2005 in the UK. It was named because of the deaths of several relatives of band members during recording and created a somber atmosphere with songs like, ?Une ann?e sans lumi?re? (?A Year Without Light?), ?In the Backseat?, and ?Haiti?, Chassagne's elegy to her lost homeland. ?Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)? is based on their experiences of the North American ice storm in 1998.
The album?s success was phenomenal as Arcade Fire was without a major label backing. After a 9.7 rating from Pitchfork, Merge Records sold out their inventory of Funeral and it became the label's first album in the Billboard 200 chart. The touring band included horn player Pietro Amato and violinist Owen Pallett on the 'Funeral' shows. Arcade Fire featured on the April 4, 2005 cover of Time Magazine's Canadian edition hailing as a band that ?helped put Canadian music on the world map?.
The band performed to approximately 15,000 fans at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival on May 1, 2005 and their performance became a highlight of Coachella 2005. Well known for its enthralling live performances and use of a large number of musical instruments, Arcade Fire uses piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, xylophone, keyboard, French horn, accordion, hurdy gurdy and harp in addition to guitar, drums, and bass guitar.
They signed a short-term publishing contract with EMI for Funeral in May 2005 and a new single ?Cold Wind? was released on ?Six Feet Under, Vol. 2: Everything Ends?, the second soundtrack album to HBO series Six Feet Under. The track ?Wake Up? was used by BBC on an advertisement for their autumn 2005 season and ?Rebellion (Lies)? and ?Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)? featured in January 2006. The Arcade Fire band appeared on the UK/US TV special Fashion Rocks, where David Bowie joined them for ?Wake Up? on September 9, 2005. They also appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and did a concert in Central Park.
On their 2005 Vertigo Tour, Irish rock group U2 played Arcade Fire's song ?Wake Up? before their performance and in the third show the band joined U2's encore in a cover of Joy Division's ?Love Will Tear Us Apart?. The possibility of a self-produced new album was announced in the mid 2006 and a tour to promote it was announced in December 2006. Neon Bible eventually released on March 5, 2007 including the song ?Intervention?. Arcade Fire announced a European tour to take place during March and April in support of the album, which includes dates in the London Brixton Academy and the Paris Olympia.
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