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Colbert Insults Arcade Fire, Band Plays Two Songs as the Reflektors Anyway

Arcade Fire, 'Reflektor,' 'Colbert Report,' "Normal Person," "Afterlife"

Arcade Fire appeared on The Colbert Report under their now-familiar guise as the Reflektors. Good thing the Reflektors were on the show and not Arcade Fire, because host Stephen Colbert had some harsh teasing in store for the latter band: “I’m just glad you’re not like Arcade Fire, though,” he said during an interview with Reflektors/Arcade Fire men Win and Will Butler. “Those guys: kind of pretentious.”

The Butlers just laughed off the remark, a response very much in the spirit of an endearingly awkward interview that spanned from Bachman Turner Overdrive’s “Taking Care of Business” to Haiti travel advice. While Colbert is taller than Jon Stewart, he’s not as good a person as his lookalike “reflektor,” humanitarian Paul Farmer, Win said — that last dis was dispelled with a big bear hug. As for whether the band prefers you enjoy its music for lyrics or for “getting them on the dance floor to shake that ass,” Win observed, “I guess ideally you’d be shaking your ass with a little tear in the eye.”

The Reflektors — again, a.k.a. Arcade Fire — also performed a couple of songs off their upcoming album, Reflektor, due out October 29 via Merge Records. On the air, they performed the nervy, explosive “Normal Person,” starting out with a head-fake — people wearing giant Arcade Fire heads miming the song before we saw the actual band playing it. As a Web exclusive, they turned down the lights for “Afterlife,” which recently arrived as the second studio track from Reflektor.

So there was nothing particularly new here, either for the Reflektors or Arcade Fire, but it was a pair of compelling performances matched with an amusing interview. Watch the chat above, and “Normal Person” followed by “Afterlife” below, possibly while weepily twerking.