Earlier this week, some corners of the internet were up in arms by a request made by Canadian indie-rock band Arcade Fire. With the band’s tour in support of their chart-topping album Reflektor kicking off on March 6 of next year, visitors to Ticketmaster will find a request by the band. “NIGHT OF SHOW: Please wear formal attire or costume.” During this year’s CMJ convention in New York, the band played a pair of secret shows at a warehouse where they asked attendees to do the same thing. Now that they’re doing an arena tour, however, while some fans of the band will whimsically dress like hot air balloon operators or Mumford and Sons members, many others are wondering why they would have to go to a venue like the KFC YUM! Center in Louisville (where the tour kicks off), dressed to the nines.
A think piece on Slate took the band to task, saying “nowadays, the band can afford to alienate some fans with requests like their costume mandate – but that doesn’t mean they should.” They made enough of an issue of it that the band addressed the controversy via a Facebook post yesterday. “To everyone really upset about us asking people to dress up at our shows… please relax. It’s super not mandatory. It just makes for a more fun carnival when we are all in it together.”
The thing about Arcade Fire is that they’re in a position where they can do this. It’s very twee and precious for a band to ask their fans to do that, but the band themselves are twee enough that it’s not a big deal to try to turn their concerts into a Wes Anderson movie. There haven’t been any metal bands commanding (or pretentious) enough to make that request, but we could think of a few bands that have rabid enough fans that they might consider doing that (Tool comes to mind, as does Devin Townsend). We’ll throw it to you – if one of your favorite bands asked you do dress differently for one of their show, would you consider doing it? Let us know in the comments section below.