Apr. 10th, 2011

Shoot back to a few weeks ago and the band Arcade Fire announced a show in Colorado at the 1st bank center in Broomfield. It was a quick addition, and the pre-sale was on as soon as the show was announced. By the time I looked, right when tickets went on sale to the general public, the floor was sold out and seats were $60 and up. I'm seeing Arcade Fire @ Coachella, so I figured I'd pass. Most of my money is tied up in the upcoming trip, and an expensive concert was a luxury I didn't think I could afford.

About a week after I made the decision to pass on the show, I saw a tweet from @ArcadeFire looking for volunteers for their Broomfield, CO show with Partners in Health. The tweet took me to a link that asked some questions about my volunteer experience, specifically outreach. I filled it out and threw my chances out into the void.

Flash forward to Wednesday of this past week and I got an email asking me to volunteer at the show. Myself and 11 other people had been chosen to be the outreach team.

The gist of Partners in Health is that they have been in Haiti since 1987, have the infrastructure to work with the people of Haiti and are there really making a difference. Arcade Fire went to Haiti in March with PIH founder Paul Farmer, who is also the Deputy UN Envoy to Haiti, under Bill Clinton.

When I got to the venue, I met the other volunteers outside the box office, and they were all really cool people. When we got inside, we spent about an hour before doors opened with Marika from Arcade Fire, Kathy the Creative Director of Arcade Fire's tour and Brande from PIH. Hearing Marika talk about the band's trip to Haiti was really cool, and we were all pumped to work the crowd.

They had us walking around with clip boards requesting Arcade Fire's fan community to "Stand Up for Haiti" and collect donations for PIH. I did really well at getting emails, but not so good at getting donations. Most people at the show were really nice, and we worked through the opening band, Local Natives. I got about 95 emails and $45 in donations.

We were released about 5 minutes before Arcade Fire went on and our passes got us down onto the floor. The crowd was pretty heavily packed in, so I got as far up as I could on the right side. I hung out there for the first few songs, but the crowd was too talkative, and spilling a lot of beer. I walked back to behind the sound booth and watched the show from there, where there was a lot more room and less distraction.

As far as the Arcade Fire set goes, I found it to be very heavily about the first album. For the record, they are touring on their 3rd, Grammy winning album, The Suburbs but they played less than 1/2 that album. The did not play City With No Children or Half Light II, my 2 favorite songs on The Suburbs. It's funny, because their first album, Funeral, is still my favorite of theirs, so I guess it is theirs too. I really rocked out to Neighborhood #3: Power Out into Wake Up as the end of the main set, and Rebellion (Lies) as the last song of the encore.

At the end of the show, I went back to Partners in Health and sold PIH T-Shirts to the departing crowd. It was great to see Arcade Fire without having to pay for the ticket, and it was nice to get to support a cause while doing it.



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