It's been more than two months since the Great Graffiti Debacle of September, and Slate still has some Arcade Fire outrage left to muster. See, the Montreal group has just announced a 2014 world tour, and it's a bit of a stadium tour—"Target Center," "KFC Yum Center," venues of that ilk.
But the corporate-branded arenas aren't enough to get the band to ditch the "formal attire or costume" dress code that's been in place for its secret shows as The Reflektors. Slate's Megan Wiegand isn't playing along:
For most of us, formal attire is reserved for weddings or special nights out. Trying to force otherwise ordinary rock shows into the special category strikes me as presumptuous—an attempt to reinforce the band’s status as capital-A Artists. But Arcade Fire is no longer an indie darling playing intimate general-admission venues: They’re releasing albums that top pop charts and playing arenas named for the likes of Verizon, Pepsi, and Comcast.
But the attire requirement is hardly the most inconvenient or baffling aspect of the tour. Did we mention the dates—the bulk of them, at least—are taking place next spring and summer? If you live in Chicago, you've got to hurry to snatch a ticket for August 26. Boston's big night is August 19. Seems like a special enough occasion if you're willing to book a whole pregnancy term in advance.
None of which is to mention the prices themselves. A routine ticket is steep—$65 or more for a spot at Brooklyn's Barclays Center—but nothing compared to the absurd "VIP packages," which range from the "Reflektive Age Fan Package" ($200) to the "Here Comes the Night Time RES Package" ($325) and entail such gold-plated amenities as "early entrance to the venue," "pre-show Reflektor Kanaval with beer, wine, and appetizers," "on-site VIP host," and an "exclusive" gift bag. No word on whether Win Butler offers up a personal massage in the band's green room, though that seems warranted if you're coughing up $325 for a rock show.
As we've previously discussed, critical reactions to the admittedly excellent Reflektor have done nothing but herald the band as the natural heir to yesteryear's classic rock giants—Talking Heads, U2, Bowie, and the like. Is it any wonder the band (and its handlers) have begun to believe it?