Take a look at the itinerary for Arcade Fire’s current tour, and you’ll notice immediately: One of these things is not like the other. Sandwiched in between a two-night run at L.A.’s 17,500-capacity Forum and a stint at the 27,000-seat Gorge Amphitheatre is a stop at our beloved little Santa Barbara Bowl, where the max cap is about 4,500 people. But intimacy is hardly the only draw here. For this tour, the band has gone to great lengths to create a vibe that mirrors the kinetic groove of their latest output, last year’s stunning double disc Reflektor. As for the setup, Arcade Fire has enlisted some of the best in the biz to help make the stadiums they’re playing feel like clubs. The lighting is elaborate and low hanging, and no confetti morsel is spared. Fans are also encouraged to come in costume — and they do, in droves. Of course, all this is not to say that the music takes a backseat to the theatrics. As anyone who has seen Arcade Fire live will tell you, this is a band that demands to be witnessed in the flesh. Onstage, they balance technical proficiency with a loose-canon energy that’s almost overpowering when it peaks. “It’s like watching a tightrope walker who’s had a few scotches,” jokes frontman Win Butler of the show, and we can’t help but agree. The only difference? We’ve yet to see Arcade Fire lose its footing. At the Santa Barbara Bowl, Monday, August 4. Call 962-7411 or visit sbbowl.com.
More Pop, Rock & Jazz
Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express, presented by Sings Like Hell Lobero Theatre, Saturday, June 28.
What Cheer? Brigade Biko Co-op Garage, Tuesday, July 1.
The Knocks, presented by We the Beat SOhO Restaurant & Music Club, Wednesday, July 2.
Richard Thompson Lobero Theatre, Wednesday, July 9.
Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band Santa Barbara Bowl, Saturday, July 12.
Jurassic 5 and Dilated Peoples Santa Barbara Bowl, Sunday, July 13.
Foreigner & Styx Santa Barbara Bowl, Sunday, July 27.
Nate Birkey Quintet SOhO Restaurant & Music Club, Monday, July 28.
Heathers Biko Co-op Garage, Friday, August 15.
Together Pangea, presented by Club Mercy Velvet Jones, Sunday, August 24.
Jack Johnson Santa Barbara Bowl, Sunday, August 31, and Monday, September 1.