John Legend and The Roots covered Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” last week at Terminal 5, really driving home the fact that they have a new collaborative album out called Wake Up!, plus Legend has always been into the whole positive life-affirming thing, so the song choice makes sense we suppose. They played it pretty close to the orginal, just adding more synchronized fist pumping from the trio of backup singers. For your viewing pleasure, let’s take a look at who else have taken on the Canadian mega power, to varying degrees of success. Judging hat: on.
John Legend & The Roots:
Never thought a guy from Nirvana would play a song featuring an accordion, but Foo Fighters do “Keep the Car Running.”
Local band The Canon Logic do a respectable job with “Neighborhood #1.”
Scottish singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini, a favorite of the Starbucks and khakis crowd, plays a hushed version of “Wake Up,” in which, as YouTube commenter kevinisarobot points out, he sounds like a pirate.
“Hey, Mom. Thanks for forcing us into taking music lessons. Now we can play ‘Crown of Love!'”
A previously-blogged cover of “We Used to Wait” by The Drums, where singer Jonathan Pierce insists on sounding like the guy from Arctic Monkeys.
…To turn things on their head a bit, here’s a clip of Arcade Fire playing Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Maps” and doing a surprisingly subpar job, considering the song they’re working with seems tailor-made for a sweeping, orchestral interpretation.
They do a much better job with The Clash’s “Guns of Brixton,” turning it hauntingly spine-tingly.