The Grammy-winning indie rock band Arcade Fire played a huge stage as the musical act for this past weekend’s episode of “Saturday Night Live.” Not only did the group rock out with two songs, but each of its members showed up in a comedy sketch.
Arcade Fire made the SNL appearance to promote its 2017 album, which is titled “Everything Now.” The group started off with “Creature Comfort,” and then later played the track “Put Your Money on Me.”
Making light of stereotypes about people from their home country of Canada, the musicians appeared in a skit with host and SNL alum Bill Hader. All of the band members amusingly apologized, needlessly so, for their association with a fictional Canadian version of scandalized American film producer Harvey Weinstein, played by Hader.
The indie rock group is quite familiar with SNL. Arcade Fire was the musical guest on three previous occasions over the years, and the band members also played behind Mick Jagger in another episode.
“Everything Now” has been a bit more of a polarizing album for the band when compared with some of its previous efforts. Some reviews were quite excellent, but others labeled it as the worst one that the group has so far released.
Arcade Fire is sometimes referred as the biggest indie rock band in the world, which in some ways comes across as an oxymoron. Having won the 2011 Grammy award for Album of the Year, they almost automatically seem somewhat mainstream. Making appearances on SNL probably doesn’t hurt their credibility much, and they probably welcome the publicity to sell a few more records.
But, without question, there is a fine line between being a hugely famous indie rock group and no longer being considered independent or alternative. While the label the group is signed with, Merge Records, is truly independent, sometimes significant fame can undercut that.
Given the mixed reviews of Arcade Fire’s recent album, it will be fascinating to see how their next release is received, and how they go about promoting it.