In a recent chapter of the Bowie tribute saga, Arcade Fire and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band took to New Orleans’ French Quarter to lead a Bowie-inspired parade. A five-minute clip of last month’s procession surfaced today.
“We are here today to celebrate the life of David Bowie,” said Preservation Hall creative director Ben Jaffe to the throngs of people packed into The Quarter. “There are few artists that could possibly bring together this incredible group of people. You are all amazing.”
Arcade Fire singer Win Butler added, “This is about him and this is about all of you and how we felt about David. Thank you guys for coming. God bless, David, wherever you’re at.”
The ensemble played “Oh! You Pretty Things” and “Fame,” but the video, interspersed with beautiful shots of the historic neighborhood, focuses on a jazzy version of “Heroes.”
Butler, garbed in a splashy pink suit, led the symphony through the streets in a New Orleans style cortege, shouting the lyrics through a megaphone. The clip captures variegated costumes, face paint, and flamboyant celebration, all of which align with both Bowie’s character and the Mardi Gras tradition. Amidst the crowds of colorful people, it’s difficult to see where Bowie ends and New Orleans begins.
“I hope he can hear it, a little bit,” said Arcade Fire’s Régine Chassagne at the outset of the video. “Why a parade? Because we’re in New Orleans, and that’s how we do it here.”
If you want more Bowie, check out Lady Gaga’s Bowie tribute at the Grammys on Monday.