An Evening With The National and Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

My cousin Drew shot me an email a couple months ago that he heard that Arcade Fire and The National were coming to St. Louis. It hadn’t even been officially announced yet, but I followed his trail of breadcrumbs and came to the same conclusion. Later that day the news was confirmed, tickets procured and Drew’s travel plans set into motion. Finally the day came, although the day was in question for some — Monika had purchased a ticket but thought that it was on Saturday instead of Thursday so didn’t have a flight in until the next day. Oops.

Regardless, Jen, Kim, Drew and myself trekked down to the Scottrade Center for the show. Since we originally had a party of five, we were not able to get seats all next to each other, so we split into groups: the girls and the cousins. We both had good seats; Drew and I were closer, but Jen and Kim had a better angle. Even with this minor hiccup, we were ready to rock.

The National

First up, was The National. This was our second chance to see them this year and they were just as awesome as the first time. Matt Berninger’s deep baritone swelled to fill the arena and he took to the audience several times, once coming just a few rows from Drew and I. The ended with Terrible Love, a slow song with a stunning crescendo that set the table nicely for Arcade Fire.

After a drink, Drew and I had a conversation with a person taking donations on behalf of Kanpe, an aid organization doing rebuilding in Haiti that Arcade Fire supports. Our donations got us in a raffle for a signed set list, but we did not win. Oh well, we got some sweet buttons and supported a good cause.

Arcade Fire

Now the main event. Arcade Fire has a reputation for being a phenomenal live band and they lived up to it on this evening. Now, any 8 member band is going to have a pretty decent stage presence, but this was beyond my expectations. Situated on risers in front video screens showing scenes of suburbia, Win Butler and company cranked out almost two hours of melodic, emotional rock music, coming out of the gate firing on all cylinders with “Ready to Start,” “Rebellion (Lies)” and “Neighborhood #2 (Laika).” Butler apologized for taking so long between St. Louis appearances, noting that last time they were in the River City they were at the Rocket Bar opening for The Unicorns. Both Rocket Bar and The Unicorns went away in 2004, so it’s been a while.

The main set closed with the absolutely epic “Wake Up.” The encore was “Month of May,” “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)” and “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).” Just an awesome way to end a great show. If you like music, you should catch an Arcade Fire show, you won’t regret it.

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Supper Club: April 19, 2011

Creamy Dijon Chicken with Broccoli
Entree: Creamy Dijon Chicken. This was a creamy chicken dish that you can easily make for a weeknight dinner. It was a perfectly fine dish, I felt like you could probably jazz it up a bit with some more spices.

Side Dish: Roasted Broccoli with Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette. It called for almonds but they were omitted because she didn’t really feel like it brought anything new to the dish. This is a good dish if you are looking for a new way to serve broccoli.

Dessert: Lemon Bars. I was disappointed with the way the lemon bars came out. I baked them according to the time and they did not firm up. I had to take them out of the oven or else the crust was going to burn. I did use regular sugar (blended in the food processor) instead of baker’s sugar so that could have been my downfall or it could be that my oven temperature is not right and I need to get an oven thermometer.

Supper Club: April 4, 2011

Entree: Pasta Amatriciana. A wonderful, easy pasta dish that has such great flavor for such simple recipe. You can make it as spicy as you would like. Bob was a huge fan of this one, I’m thinking it’s because of the pancetta and spiciness.

Side Dish: I went with bagged Caesar salad. It was a long week and I was out of sorts, sue me.

Dessert: Apple and Blue Cheese Turnovers. This was a good dessert if you’re looking for something that wasn’t overly sweet. Maybe I was and so I thought it was a bit lacking. I actually think that having some sort of sugar glaze over the turnover would have satisfied my sweet tooth.

Spring FPC Trivia Night 2011

I do love FPC trivia nights because, not only are they fun, but the categories are creative. And plus, they always have a theme! This year’s theme was rules. The answer could be a rule or the question was a rule, they were rules. Now this year’s appearance was a bit different, we did not have our usual Dream Team. Bob and his dad were otherwise occupied and so we had to come up with a couple of fresh faces. After hearing about our past performances at this trivia night, the newbies were a bit intimidated and we expected a lot out of them.

Boy, did we perform! Even without two of our usual suspects, we still won! Woo-hoo! And this wasn’t an easy trivia night since I’m not really all about rules.

Rules of the Bible: We had to name all 10 Commandments. I sat back on this one because I only really knew the popular ones. There were enough churchgoers to answer this one.

Rules of the Game: The clue was a rule of a board game and you had to guess which board game it was. A fun category and made me want to go play some board games.

Baseball Rules: I sat back on this one and let Colin run with it.

Rules of the Road: I claimed the stereotype of female Asian drivers. But apparently, you wouldn’t want to drive with quite a few tables with some of their scores in this round.

Flag Rules: Did you know that Sarah Palin signed an American flag, a big no-no in the flag handbook. Freakin’ dumbass.

Composition: Oh, my. Grammar and sentence structure. Brings me back to elementary school.

TSA Carry-on Rules: This category was interesting. They stated something and you had to decide if you could carry them on the plane. And just a heads up, you cannot have gel inserts.

Government Rules: I was afraid these would be all questions on the amendments, thankfully, they were not.

TV & Movies: This category either had rule in the question or rule in the answer.

And for the life of me, I can’t remember the 10th category. Oh well, you get the gist. I’m excited to see what they come up with next and for the two that missed this night, you have a lot to live up to.