Roman Coppola Directs Arcade Fire's SNL Performance Turned Discotheque Fever Dream

Arcade FireIf you watched through until the end of the season premiere of SNL last night, hosted by the glorious Tina Fey, you might've been slyly whisked away from musical guest Arcade Fire's performance on the SNL stage into an uncanny valley of music and film, comedy and artistry -- yet nothing is quite right. Directed by Roman Coppola, with guest appearances by Rainn Wilson, James Franco, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Ben Stiller, and even Bono,  Arcade Fire's SNL concert special is a must see. So, without further ado, and to echo Fey's sendoff , "It's about to get a weird."

Arcade Fire is no stranger to pushing the limits of their medium, as well as melding with others. About a week ago we talked about how the band's interactive music videos do just that, especially with their newest video for their song "Reflektor," the first single released on their upcoming album of the same name. An even back in 2010, their HTML5 music video added a new dimension to interactivity.

Though their SNL performance-turned-prerecorded-secret-Montreal-salsa-club-show didn't follow suit in terms of audience interaction, it was still an exercise in capturing something bold and new -- bringing multiple mediums together to diversifying delivery. I mean sure, for as long as films have been around they've had music accompaniment, but director Roman Coppola used film in the same way, only this time to accompany the music instead of the other way around.

So, to preface it, the video picks up where SNL left off. At the end of the show, Arcade Fire performs a final song, and frontman Win Butler leads a nightmarish conga line of people in crazy costumes from the SNL stage to Montreal's Salsatheque. From there, the whole thing turns into a 1980s club fever dream of music interspersed with film -- including Zach Galifianakis addressing the crowd from space as an astronaut, as well as Michael Cera speaking perfect Spanish. The show is very meta, very Tim and Ericand very experimental. Check it out below.

What did you think of Arcade Fire's special? Let us know in the comments.

[via Indiewire]

Your Comment


Ok we get it. You have famous friends.

September 29, 2013 at 2:03PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I found this to be rather boring.

September 29, 2013 at 2:53PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Maybe it's just because I'm an Arcade Fire fan, but that was pretty sweet. Loved the new songs, psyched for the new album.

September 29, 2013 at 4:42PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


This whole thing was boring as hell. A bunch of cameras covering a contrived concert intercut poorly with famous people clearly shot on other locations and jammed in.

Separate from the fact that it was boring, it's stylistically all over the place to point of lacking any vision. It was just shoot a bunch of stuff, and slap it together.

This is crap. People with the ability to do something this original are few and far between, and they have a responsibility to do something good.

Even famous artists need to put in the work to make good stuff.

September 29, 2013 at 7:17PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


The Suburbs is an excellent song and video made by Spike Jonze. Before you write Arcade Fire off from this uninspired waste of time check that one out. Maybe everyone involved with this video were just having a bad day.

September 29, 2013 at 7:45PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Hey Jake, don't get me wrong, I like Arcade fire, I think they do great stuff. I checked out the Spike Jonze vid you referenced, it's great.

Art takes hard work, and this one was just not thought out, so it was a mess.

September 29, 2013 at 8:17PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Yea, I tried to watch it after SNL last night but, after a little while, I dialed something up on Netflix.

September 29, 2013 at 9:05PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


loved it until the end. the world could use more surrealism like this. bravo.

September 29, 2013 at 11:10PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Its cool that they even attempted to do something different to introduce new music in an internet world where the music video is "dead."

But I felt like this mostly distracted me from the music. What was going on didn't enhance or contribute to the songs in my opinion. It really just confirmed that Roman Coppola is not my favorite director. A lot of it just seemed random for random sake and didn't hit.

I watched all the way through and I can see why some may love it but I didn't. Can't wait for their new album though!

September 30, 2013 at 10:32AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I caught this when it aired live after SNL as I was trapped in the studio working late, and maybe it was the lack of sleep, the fact that I wasn't expecting this, but I thought that... IT. WAS. AWESOME.
As a standalone video on the internet with a preface explaining it? Maybe it won't make as much of an impact. But like a concert itself, it exists in a time and place where the context, or lack of context makes it something more. To see something this different, as it happened was a real treat. If they had created a typical concert video I would have switched it off after half a song. This kept my attention for a good half hour.
Did anyone notice the camera work? There were a lot of shots that made it feel like you really were there, and you didn't ever see the other cameras to break that suspension of disbelief.
To all the haters saying that it wasn't polished or that it was too random...That's the point! The campiness made it work for me.
I only wish there was more stuff like this on TV.

September 30, 2013 at 8:37PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

Andrius Simutis

"New Music" ? You're Kidding ,right ? It just goes to show that "Famous People" are boring too without good writing to back them up. EX: "Hi I'm famous Cap'n Zach. Space is VERY .....Fun" Wow
This was only on of many "Zany" moments in this "Groundbreaking" Video. There are Daily ,real examples of talented unknowns ,pushing the boundaries with tiny Budgets that blow this Name-Dropping crap out of Orbit.

October 4, 2013 at 4:54AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Quelle bonne fromage! Epic, understated, risky, free-spirited, naïve, contrived yet innocently fun- beautiful!

November 5, 2013 at 8:25AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


each time i used to read smaller articles or reviews that also clear their motive, and that
is also happening with this piece of writing which I am reading now.

August 19, 2014 at 9:00AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM