Arcade Fire capped this year’s Coachella music festival on a political note, calling gay marriage a “human rights issue” and blasting cultural conformity.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival crowd may not have been paying close attention, according to a critic for the LA Times, but the band still strained to boost the same sex marriage movement via its closing set.
And then with the words “We’re the Arcade Fire,” the band launched into “Normal Person” and what was one of the most fiery, topical sets in recent Coachella history. Butler spoke passionately in favor of gay rights, the act covered Prince’s inclusive anthem “Controversy” with an assist from Beck, instruments were smashed and the nostalgic piano reverie of “The Suburbs” was introduced with Butler’s thoughts on how “we’re all becoming a monoculture…
“The right to marry anyone you want is a human rights issue,” Butler said before introducing the new song “We Exist,” a track Butler said was written about a son trying to explain to his father that he’s gay. The frontman then connected Coachella’s hipster attendees to the Woodstock generation, urging the crowd to get behind a cause. They may not have listened, but they certainly seemed to hear “We Exist,” as its amped-up “Thriller”-like groove succeeded in getting them to move.
Saturday Night Live recently featured a sketch in which two GOP politicians took the stage at Coachella and vowed not to discuss their opposition to gay marriage as much as in recent years to appease the youthful crowd.
The festival finale also featured musician Beck dressed up as the “real Pope” complete with a Pope Francis bobble head and a Daft Punk impersonation.