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Watch Arcade Fire play new songs at Ukraine benefit concert

The band will return with new single 'The Lightning I, II', which they gave their live debut in New Orleans

By Will Richards

Arcade Fire's Win Butler performs live
Arcade Fire's Win Butler performs live (Picture: YouTube)

Arcade Fire made their live comeback last night (March 14), debuting new songs at a Ukraine benefit concert in New Orleans.

The Canadian band announced yesterday that they were to return later this week (March 17) with new single ‘The Lightning I, II’, and gave the track its live debut at the show at the “pay-what-you-can” gig, which benefitted the Plus1 Ukraine relief fund.

The danceable, synth-heavy track was one of two new songs the band played. At the show, they also debuted a track called ‘Age Of Anxiety’, which features elements of their 45-minute instrumental track ‘Memories of the Age of Anxiety’, released last year in partnership with a meditation app.

Watch footage of the new songs being played at the benefit gig below.

The band teased their return earlier this month with snippets of sheet music, which were published on a selection of mysterious postcards sent to fans to decipher.

They will release ‘The Lightning I, II’ on Thursday at 2PM ET/11AM PT (6PM GMT), and have shared the track’s chords for fans to play ahead of release.

“Our new song The Lightning I, II comes out on Thursday,” they wrote on social media. “Here are the chords to make it a little easier to play. We really missed you.”

The band’s last album was 2017’s ‘Everything Now’, and since then they have shared the 45-minute instrumental cut and a rousing political track called ‘Generation A’, which they debuted on Stephen Colbert’s election special on the night of the 2022 US Election.

In late 2020, Butler told the Rick Rubin’s Broken Record podcast the band recorded “two or three” albums during the pandemic.