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CMJ's winningest moment of last decade took place on a very cramped stage at LES apartment-sized box Mercury Lounge. A large portion of Arcade Fire's breakout moment could be chalked up to timing, of course, thanks to a sizable amount of chatter surrounding the release of Funeral just a month prior. Predating the wholly Internet-fueled mode of buzz (Fluxblog, widely regarded as the first MP3 blog, was just 2-years-old at the point), I remember there being actual word-of-mouth chatter rippling throughout the crowds: wherever you went, people were either talking about having gotten in or having not gotten into the Arcade Fire show. Times music scribe Kelefa Sanneh documented the band's time in New York for a much larger audience than those who wore badges around their necks. The chatter got louder.
The band would be back in town that November playing a hard-to-come-by ticket at Bowery Ballroom. Then came Webster Hall the following year. Then Irving Plaza, Radio City, Rumsey Playfield, five nights at Judson Memorial Church and Randall's Island. Then Madison Square Garden. Twice.