Photos: The Unicorns and Arcade Fire at Barclays Center

Photos by Kenneth Bachor

“Let’s all make a pledge to not die right now,” The Unicorns’ Nick Thorburn dryly proposed to the early arrivers who showed up at Barclays Center on Saturday to see the band reunite during the tour’s three-night run in Brooklyn. Then he launched into “I Don’t Wanna Die,” the smarmy, cartoon-spaceship-soundtracked opening track from their one and only full-length album, 11 years after its release.

Less than an hour later, Win Butler would kick off Arcade Fire’s Mardi-Gras-esque set by announcing, “We shall never forget the human capacity for kindness,” thereby inverting every reference of a funeral or suffocating suburban milieu into a celebration, sounding bright, loud, larger than life and more arena-ready than ever before. It was a tale of two very different bands birthed from the early-00s Montreal music scene playing in a basketball arena this weekend.

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