Five years ago, I was in Chicago with my all-star producer, Ruggy, for Lollapalooza 2005. Backstage waiting to interview Lolla founder/Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell about the event, I was sweating -- more than usual -- with anticipation because Arcade Fire was about to take the stage.
Ruggy, being an efficient producer, stressed the importance of grabbing the one-on-one with Perry, but being a hard-headed, immature dweeb, I blew off the interview to see "my new favorite band." In retrospect, I disapprove of my unprofessional behavior, but I will never forget the most awe-inspiring, gut-wrenching performance of the festival.
Five years later, Arcade Fire releases their third critically acclaimed studio album, The Suburbs. Hailed as the most important record since Radiohead's OK Computer -- while it resonates with depth and emotion -- I respectfully disagree. Sonically, the record is more toned-down than previous efforts, Funeral and Black Mirror, but musically, the Canadian indie-rock collaborative continues to mature and draw inspiration from Bruce Springsteen/Tom Petty/Neil Young while introducing New Wave-esque songs reminiscent of early Depeche Mode. With reflective and authentic lyrical content, the Arcade Fire are not hiding behind any rock & roll stereotypes and continue to prove they are one of the most interesting bands of the 2000s.
Chris Cantore, SoundDiego's anchor contributor and a longtime fixture on San Diego radio, is on the air weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 102.1 KPRI. Follow Chris on Twitter @chriscantore or send him a story idea.