Arcade Fire played Los Angeles’ Hollywood Palladium on October 31, and in the spirit of Halloween, the Reflektor crew pretended to be Devo — well, for one song. The indie-rock juggernauts covered “Uncontrollable Urge,” the jittery opening track from Devo’s 1978 debut album, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (via Merge Records’ Facebook).
As seen in the fan-shot footage above, AF’s tight, faithful rendition is plenty thrilling, but what makes the performance even more impressive is the fact that frontman Win Butler pulled the song off while wearing one of those oversize bobblehead masks from the “Reflektor” music video. The picture’s fuzzy for much of the clip, but Arcade Fire’s New Wave savvy is unquestionable.
The Palladium gig is just the latest engagement on Arcade Fire’s busy tour schedule. In the past few weeks, the band has played outside the Capitol Records tower, honored Lou Reed onstage, dropped by Neil Young’s annual Bridge School Benefit, and entertained a couple of Brooklyn crowds, all in support of their fourth album, Reflektor, out now via Merge. They’ll take the stage at the first annual YouTube Music Awards this Sunday, November 3.
And to put Arcade Fire’s dance-rock chops in the proper context, check out SPIN’s recent feature Inorganic at the Disco: 40 Rock Bands Who Beat Arcade Fire to the Dance Floor.