Days after four women accused Arcade Fire frontman
Win Butler of sexual misconduct and assault, the band began its European tour in Ireland seemingly without incident.
“If anyone was wondering, Arcade Fire is back to business,” tweeted podcast host Jason Carty, who attended the band’s Tuesday show at Dublin’s 3Arena.
Carty shared a video of the band performing “The Suburbs,” the title track from their Grammy-winning 2010 album. A raucous arena of fans clapped and sang along as Butler led the chorus.
Another user on Twitter stated that “Arcade Fire came out to rapturous applause” when they began their set with “Wake Up.” Journalist Christine Bohan, who was also present, observed that the “crowd immediately appears to be on their side.”
Others, however, noted that Butler did not directly address the allegations leveled against him. Butler “opened by thanking ‘everyone from the bottom of his heart for coming out,” according to a Reddit user.
“It felt like a half-hearted acknowledgment of events, and then it was sort of business as usual,” said one.
According to a Pitchfork report published on Saturday, three women claimed Butler’s misconduct occurred between 2016 and 2020 when they were between the ages of 18 and 23, and Butler was between the ages of 36 and 39. A fourth accuser, who identified as gender-fluid, claimed Butler sexually assaulted them twice when they were 21 in 2015.
Butler, who has been married to bandmate Régine Chassagne since 2003, has denied the allegations and stated that he has “consensual relationships outside of my marriage.”
“I know what is in his heart, and I know he has never, and would never, touch a woman without her consent, and I am certain he never did,” Chassagne said.
At Tuesday’s concert, fans weren’t the only ones thinking about Butler’s allegations. According to photos from the merch stand, Feist, the Canadian singer-songwriter who opened the show, will donate all proceeds from her merchandise sales to Women’s Aid Dublin. Women’s Aid Dublin is an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence in Ireland.
While this appears to be Feist’s first donation to Women’s Aid Dublin, she has previously advocated for organizations that help abused women and children.