Arcade Fire‘s streak of geographically themed cover songs remains unbroken, with the band tackling Neil Young’s hard-rocking “Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown” during their Thursday night gig in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
This straightforward, guitar-heavy style isn’t the band’s usual territory, but they handled the track with ease, as multi-instrumentalists Tim Kingsbury and Will Butler traded off on vocals. As usual, frontman Win Butler performed while wearing a giant paper mâché head, occasionally contributing a fist pump or peace sign.
Arcade Fire were likely paying tribute to Young’s heritage – though the rock icon was born in Toronto, he cut his teeth playing gigs in the Winnipeg area. But Butler is also a big fan of Young’s work: Last October, he got to play the literal-titled “I Dreamed a Neil Young Song” (which he claimed to have written in his sleep) with Young at the Bridge School Benefit. After a slightly shaky start, the duo found a groove on the track, which recalled the folky elegance of Harvest.
Elsewhere on the Reflektor tour, the Montreal alt-rockers have busted out region-specific live covers during almost every show: In Edmonton, they took on Huey Lewis & The News’ Back to the Future tune “Back In Time” (as a tribute to Michael J. Fox, who was born there), and they twisted Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” into their own “Rococo” during a gig in George, Washington (near the grunge band’s old Seattle stomping grounds).