Canadian rock heroes Arcade Fire have almost broken the internet. Last night (March 14th), they performed a last-minute benefit show for Ukraine in New Orleans and dazzled the audience by tearing through two new and unreleased songs.
Performing at the city’s Toulouse Theatre, the concert was formatted as a “pay-what-you-can” and will benefit the Plus1 Ukraine relief fund which is supporting the Ukrainian people via humanitarian aid, as Russia’s invasion continues and the humanitarian situation worsens.
To the delight of fans worldwide, the show was live-streamed on Arcade Fire’s TikTok and Instagram, and snippets from the recording have now made it online, showing the band performing the duo of new tracks. The first of which is the electrifying ‘Lightning I, II’, and it is scheduled for release on March 17th.
The second new cut from Arcade Fire was ‘Age of Anxiety’. It borrows parts of the ambient, 45-minute instrumental, ‘Memories of the Age of Anxiety’ that they released for a meditations app last year. It’s a slow builder, but it sounds like classic Arcade Fire, so there’s no surprise that fans have been lapping it up online.
Arcade Fire have been teasing fans with their return for a while now. At the start of March, fans of the band began posting images of cryptic postcards they’d recieved in the mail, displaying the message “we missed you” accompanied by a stave filled with musical notes. They followed this sweet touch by sharing a brief clip of some new music on their website.
Arcade Fire’s last flirtation with new music came back in November 2020 when they appeared on Stephen Colbert’s US election special episode. They debuted the new track ‘Generation A’, but that was the last we heard of it. We’re hoping that it gets a release sooner rather than later, as the band’s last album, Everything Now, came out in 2017.