What does it mean when a band covers another artist? In some cases it’s a tribute, in others it’s a way for the covering band to show off its musical depth and flexibility with other genres. For Arcade Fire it’s a little of both. Throughout its big “Reflektor” arena tour this year, the Grammy-winning band has been giving nods to artists from each market it plays.
While in Connecticut Arcade Fire covered John Mayer; in Philadelphia, Boyz 2 Men; in Ohio, Devo. Even during a South America run in early April the band referenced Antonio Carlos Jobim and Bob Russell’s “Brazil.” It’s a nice gesture, and offers unique spin on each show, highlighting the area’s musical history. So, we have to ask, as Arcade Fire makes its way to Denver’s Pepsi Center on April 23: How will the band pay tribute to Colorado?
Earth, Wind & Fire
Based on some of the band’s past choices, and the dancier and funkier aspects of Arcade Fire’s new album, an Earth, Wind & Fire cover (who’s singer Philip Bailey grew up in Denver) could be the perfect option for a Colorado tribute. With strings, horns and that homespun Arcade Fire sound, imagine the band’s takes on “September” or “Shining Star.”
John Denver is always the easy choice for any artist visiting Colorado. Maybe Arcade Fire isn’t the type of band to play a cover you’d expect, but it’s hard to pass up “Denver in Denver.” Like Perry Como or Alanis Morissette covers at other shows, Arcade Fire has showed it’s not afraid to rework a singer-songwriter.
If Arcade Fire covered Denver’s DeVotchKa, the world might implode with multi-instrumental indie-rockness. How many fans would differentiate the emotional, string-backed ballads of DeVotchKa from the emotional, string-backed ballads of Arcade Fire? It would be easy, almost far too easy, for Arcade Fire to play something like “How it Ends.”
Arcade Fire, Firefall? Win Butler and crew might not be into lame puns, but they might have a soft spot for ‘70s Colorado rock bands. Imagine Arcade Fire playing “Just Remember I Love You” as an intro to something like “Crown of Love.” Maybe it’s as cheesy as those “fire” puns, but if anyone can put a fresh take on ‘70s bar-rock ballads it’s Arcade Fire.
Big Head Todd and the Monsters
After some quick Google searches, it seems that Arcade Fire and Big Head Todd and the Monsters have never been mentioned in the same sentence (correct us if we’re wrong). And for that very reason, a BHTM cover might be the most unexpected “hipster” move for Arcade Fire. And we’d be open to hear how the band approaches songs like “Bittersweet” and “Please Don’t Tell Her.”