Not unlike sporting events, awards shows somehow seem far more awesome and important when your favourite team wins.
So given that, I hesitate to jump straight into the broad “what does it all mean?” essay that I’m sure dozens and dozens of music writers are hastily assembling tonight. There will be thoughts on the state of the industry, on the rewriting of the mainstream, on whether Arcade Fire are really that “indie” of a band at all…
…but right now? Tonight? Fuck it. We won.
So in honor of the festivities, I’m putting aside my critic’s hat for a day or two and just basking in 15 minutes of television that was about as note perfect as it could have been.
– A blistering version of “Month of May,” not only The Suburbs’ least-compromising track, but one that’s become a beast of a live song. Respect to Muse’s well-staged, manufactured protest, but THAT’S how you punk up an awards show.
– The perplexed tone in Barbara Streisand’s voice as she read the winner, slurring the “ssss” as if she couldn’t quite believe the words on the card.
– Win’s collapse to his knees while walking towards Kris Kristofferson.
– That Will and Richard were seemingly having a “world’s biggest smile” competition.
– Leading the thank-yous with Montreal.
– The weird silence in the crowd, as if the stiffs and suits couldn’t quite comprehend these kids who had crashed their party.
– The fact that the second dude from Lady Antebellum looked PISSED.
– “We’re going to go play another song, because we like music.” As as they’ve done so many times before, they put aside the formalities of the night and did what they do best.
– The realization that “Ready to Start” will remain one of the band’s better songs for years to come, but will never, ever sound that good again.
– The moment just before the feed cut out, where you see Win throw his guitar down in joy, his brother Will jumping off the keyboard platform to give his brother one giant hug.
– Finally, Kanye West taking to Twitter to sum up the moment as good as anyone: (though he strangely changed it to to just #ARCADEFIRE afterwards):
#Arcade fire!!!!!!!!!! There is hope!!! I feel like we all won when something like this happens! FUCKING AWESOME!