Arcade Fire are about to appear on Saturday Night Live for the fourth time. Immediately afterward, NBC will broadcast a half-hour Arcade Fire concert special. As with just about everything else related to the band's upcoming album Reflektor, most other details about the TV double-header have been shrouded in mystery. In advance of their performance on SNL's season premiere this Saturday, September 28, the Montreal indie gods joined host Tina Fey for a trio of promo videos (above), allowing them to display their less serious side. Here's what we know — and you need to know — about AF's latest visit to SNL. But first, watch a characteristically cryptic promo for the post-SNL concert (below).
When and where does the show actually happen?
As always, SNL broadcasts live out of Studio 8H in New York City's 30 Rockefeller Center (aka 30 Rock). The show starts at 11:30 p.m. ET and runs till 1 a.m.
How many songs will Arcade Fire play?
Barring any surprises, two.
What songs will they play?
We can't say for sure, but we'd bet money that their latest single, "Reflektor," is one of them — especially because they brought along those creepy, oversized fake heads from the Anton Corbin-directed music video.
James Murphy produced that song, and David Bowie sings backup on it. Will they be there?
You never know...
What's the deal with their post-SNL concert?
Details about that are scarce, but we do know that NBC will broadcast a 30-minute special performance by the band immediately following the episode. Given the fact that artists usually perform their second song near the end of the show, we'll guess that they're performing from Studio 8H. But it could also have something to do with Arcade Fire's mysterious salsa-club shows.
Okay, and what's with this promo video for the concert special?
It's titled "Here Comes the Night Time." There's a fair chance the moody instrumental that plays over it is a snippet of the two-part "Here Comes the Night Time" suite from Reflektor. Perhaps we might get a full video for one of the two songs after SNL, too.
When was the last time they performed on SNL?
They had the honor of serving as Mick Jagger's backing band on the 2012 season finale, which also happened to be Kristen Wiig's final episode. They got to do three songs with Sir Mick: "The Last Time," "She's a Rainbow," and "Ruby Tuesday," the latter two of which were played as Wiig said her tearful goodbyes.
So why are they back so soon?
A year and a half is too soon for you? Sheesh. Arcade Fire will release their fourth record, Reflektor, on October 29 via Merge Records. The double LP is one of SPIN's 50 Fall Albums You Gotta Hear. Good enough for you?