Arcade Fire have upped the ante on their regional covers project as the Reflektor tour enters its closing days, not only playing their usual songs by notable locals, but also bringing on musicians from the bands to join them. The night after Buster Poindexter led the band in a performance of his hit “Hot Hot Hot,” the band returned to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and covered the Ramones’ “I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement” and “I Wanna Be Sedated” with Marky Ramone sitting on drums.
Before introducing Ramone, Arcade Fire engaged in a bit of misdirection, having the bobble-headed fake Reflektors band introduce themselves as the Talking Heads and wiggle along to “Psycho Killer,” with one member dressed in a Stop Making Sense-style giant suit.
“Who are these people?” Win Butler asked, giving up the ruse. “This is not the Talking Heads. This is not the Arcade Fire,” he declared. Butler then introduced the evening’s real (Brooklyn-born) “very special guest” and the real Arcade Fire launched into their high-spirited covers of the two classic Ramones tracks.
The band has a chance for one more New York surprise with their third and final show at the Barclays Center on Sunday night. On Tuesday, they head to Chicago for two nights before closing the tour in Toronto and Montreal.