Arcade Fire’s Reflektor trek across North America – complete with geographically themed cover songs every concert — continued Sunday night with a visit to Washington D.C.’s Verizon Center, where the Montreal collective paid tribute to local hardcore gods Fugazi with a spirited, pinpoint rendition of that band’s opening salvo “Waiting Room.” This being the nation’s capital, Arcade Fire even busted out their giant Barack Obama papier-mâché mask to dance along with the 13 Songs cut. Check out video of the performance up top (via Consequence of Sound).
A Fugazi cover wasn’t the only surprise Arcade Fire had in store in Washington D.C. One night earlier, guitarist Will Butler performed a secret show — his first ever solo gig — at D.C.’s Rock n’ Roll Hotel. Win’s brother performed a set composed of new original material, which fansite ArcadeFireTube described as “Violent Femmes meets Pixies.”
Arcade Fire have livened up the usual monotony of touring by performing a unique cover song in every city they visit. Covers so far have ranged from the obvious (Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in Seattle, Neil Young’s “Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown” in Winnipeg) to the head-scratchingly complex and obscure (Huey Lewis and the News’ “Back in Time” from Back to the Future in Edmonton, the birthplace of Michael J. Fox). Arcade Fire have also performed R.E.M.’s “Radio Free Europe” in Atlanta, Feist’s “I Feel It All” in Calgary (where she went to high school), and Jane’s Addiction’s “Been Caught Stealing” in Los Angeles, among many more covers.
Boston is up next on Arcade Fire’s itinerary, so place your bets on a cover song from the heavy favorites Pixies, with lesser odds going to the Modern Lovers and Aerosmith.