Arcade Fire returned to the stage at New Orleans’ Toulouse Theatre on Monday night for their first full-band public performance in over two years. The surprise concert, which was announced just hours beforehand, seemingly served two purposes: to raise money for the Plus 1 Ukraine Relief Fund, and to preview several songs from their upcoming studio album.
Over the course of their 16-song set, Arcade Fire performed four new songs: “Age of Anxiety,” “Rabbit Hole,” “The Lightning I, II,” and “Generation A.” A portion of the concert was streamed live online via the band’s TikTok, and you can see footage of “The Lightning I, II” and “Age of Anxiety” below (via reddit).
Arcade Fire first debuted “Generation A” way back in November 4th, 2020 as part of Stephen Colbert’s election night special, while a 45-minute instrumental called “Memories of the Age of Anxiety” was first featured on the mediation app Headspace in April 2021. As you can see below, the version of “Age of Anxiety” performed by Arcade Fire last night is much shorter, and has lyrics. Meanwhile, “The Lightning I, II” will seemingly serve as the first official single from the band’s as-yet-unannounced new album, and will be released on Thursday.
As Stereogum points out, Will Butler was absent from last night’s performance. Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner filled in for him.
In October 2020, frontman Win Butler revealed the band had written enough material for “two or three” new albums. Earlier this month, they sent out cryptic postcards to fans with notes from an unnamed song. Stickers with the same design were also spotted around London. Needless to say, it appears Arcade Fire are ready to start rolling out their follow-up to 2017’s Everything Now.
Age of Anxiety (New Song)
Ready to Start
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
Rabbit Hole (New Song)
Keep the Car Running
The Lightning I, II (New Song)
Generation A (New Song)