Those in attendance were told by event organizers to wear their best Bowie outfit, and the band followed suit, with lead singer Win Butler appearing in a pink suit with geometric face paint.
“We are here today to celebrate the life of David Bowie,” says Preservation Hall’s creative director Ben Jaffe to a street full of Bowie fans in the five-and-a-half minute clip, “There are few artists that can possibly bring together this incredible group of people.”
The band and audience can be seen launching into collective renditions of Bowie’s Heroes, Oh! You Pretty Things, and Suffragette City in the video, with numerous people appearing in full spaceman attire to celebrate the late musician’s life.
For New Orleans natives, the idea of a parade following the death of a prominent musician is nothing new. For generations the city has celebrated deaths with a joyous musical parade, where family, friends, and acquaintances often march with a loud second line group.
“Why a parade? Because we’re in New Orleans and that’s how we do it here,” Arcade Fire’s Regine Chassagne says in the video.
Arcade Fire were just one of many famous musical groups to issue tributes, both written and performed, to the famed pop artist after his death. But this is especially touching coming from them because of all that Bowie did to help build their career in music.
“David Bowie was one of the band’s earliest supporters and champions,” the band wrote in a statement after the announcement of Bowie’s death, “We will take to the grave the moments we shared; talking, playing music and collaborating as some of the most profound and memorable moments of our lives. A true artist even in his passing, the world is more bright and mysterious because of him, and we will continue to shout prayers into the atmosphere he created.”