Arcade Fire began their 2022 UK and Ireland headline tour last night (August 30), despite recent allegations of sexual misconduct against frontman Win Butler.

On Saturday (August 27), Pitchfork published an article in which four former fans of the band – who were aged between 18 and 23 at the time of the alleged interactions – accused Butler of sexual misconduct.

Three of the accusers are women and the fourth identifies as gender-fluid who uses they/them pronouns.

Butler responded to the accusations of “inappropriate” actions in a statement, claiming he was “very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behaviour” but maintaining that “these relationships were all consensual”.

The musician added: “I fucked up, and while not an excuse, I will continue to look forward and heal what can be healed, and learn from past experiences.”

Butler’s wife and Arcade Fire bandmate Régine Chassagne also shared her own statement, in which she said: “I know he has never, and would never, touch a woman without her consent and I am certain he never did.”

After the accusations came to light, some fans called on the group to cancel their tour or offer refunds to those who no longer wanted to attend. However, the first show in Dublin went ahead as planned yesterday evening.

Sharing a thread of tweets throughout the concert, one attendee said that Arcade Fire came out onstage to “rapturous applause” from the audience before opening with ‘Wake Up’.

Later, it was claimed by multiple audience members that it appeared to be “business as usual” for the band. Another Twitter user said “the mood was tense” inside the venue. You can see a selection of posts below.

Arcade Fire open the first gig of their world tour in Dublin with Wake Up, which is some PR move – crowd immediately seems to be on their side pic.twitter.com/Q338Ki4zUp

— Christine Bohan (@ChristineBohan) August 30, 2022

Arcade Fire came out to rapturous applause pic.twitter.com/ZyvE6JZXW4

— Marie (@Morbegland) August 30, 2022

It really is business as usual. Very little strange banter obviously.

— Marie (@Morbegland) August 30, 2022

If anyone was wondering, it’s business as usual for Arcade Fire. pic.twitter.com/IuKlKqUkgw

— Jason Carty (@Doctor_J_) August 30, 2022

Arcade Fire get a Full House in Dublin. pic.twitter.com/1AK5yIPsqs

— Eoin Devereux (@ProfDevereux) August 30, 2022

So maybe they don’t know yet.
I tried to put the news out of my head b/c I love the band so much, but found it really hard to switch off.
I was sad during the show cos I know I won’t see them again. Like a lot of people we came b/c we weren’t going to get refunds.

— Olivia Chau (@olliechau) August 30, 2022

I don’t know how the rest of the shows are going to go. If you love the band and can get passed the news, then you’ll enjoy the show, but I couldn’t. I don’t know what else to say. Ask me questions if you like, I’ll answer best I can.

— Olivia Chau (@olliechau) August 30, 2022

I found it really strange. Felt like I was saying goodbye to them or something. The mood was tense. They were very good tbf. Just couldn’t see €90 go to waste.

— Ciara (@Ciarabelles) August 31, 2022

Per Consequence Of Sound, Butler made no mention of accusations that have been levelled against him, but he did thank fans “from the bottom of my heart” for attending the gig. Another tweet claimed there was “very little” on-stage chat from the singer overall.

Some of those who attended last night said that they only did so as they were unable to get a refund on their tickets.

Feist is opening for Arcade Fire on their current run of dates, and she is yet to comment on the accusations. The musician did, however, commit to donating all proceeds earned from her merch sales last night to Women’s Aid Dublin.

It’s unknown at the time of writing whether Feist will be doing the same across the entirety of the tour (which is scheduled to run until the start of October). NME has reached out to her representatives’s for clarification and comment.

Arcade Fire’s ‘WE’ tour is due to continue tonight (August 31) with a second Dublin show.

Meanwhile, numerous Canadian radio stations have paused playing the group’s music amid the allegations made against Win Butler.

The setlist for Arcade Fire’s first Dublin concert was as follows:

‘Wake Up’
‘Age of Anxiety I’
‘Ready to Start’
‘The Suburbs’
‘Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)’
‘It’s Never Over (Hey Orpheus)’
‘My Body Is A Cage’
‘Afterlife’
‘Reflektor’
‘Creature Comfort’
‘Age Of Anxiety II (Rabbit Hole)’
‘The Lightning I, II’
‘Rebellion (Lies)’
‘No Cars Go’
‘Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)’
‘Everything Now’
‘Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)’

ENCORE:
‘End Of The Empire I-III’
‘End Of The Empire IV’
‘Dreams’ (The Cranberries cover)

The post Arcade Fire begin European tour despite Win Butler’s sexual misconduct allegations appeared first on NME.

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