This summer, indie heavyweights will Arcade Fire return to stage to headline festivals including Panorama, WayHome, and NOS Alive. But the Montreal outfit wasn’t always the top-billed headlining band they are today.
Footage of one of Arcade Fire’s very earliest gigs was recently unearthed by YouTuber Ryan Mills. The concert took place in early 2003 in Toronto, and the clip captures what must be one of the band’s first-ever live performances of their major hit “No Cars Go”. The song was originally recorded in 2002 for their self-titled EP, which they sold online and on tour the following year. They would later re-record it for their sophomore LP, Neon Bible, but in the video above, you can hear its earliest forms.
At the time, the band featured Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, Tim Kyle on guitar, and Dane Mills on drums. As you can hear, Chassagne was still finding her voice and Butler was just starting his journey to being the powerful frontman he is today. The sound may not be fantastic (both because of the old video and what seems like less than perfect live mixing), but there are certainly hints at the greatness that was to come from the then-necessant band.
For more Arcade Fire nostalgia, check out footage from another early 2013 gig at Toronto’s Rivoli.