Arcade Fire performs livestream to reveal Sagittarius A* black hole

Arcade Fire performed as part of a livestream to reveal the first image of the black hole at the center of the galaxy – see below.

The image was created by a global research team called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, using observations from a worldwide network of radio telescopes. The object known as Sagittarius A* has four million times the mass of the Sun.

  • READ MORE: The NME Big Read – Arcade Fire: “‘WE’ connects the dots between everything we’ve ever done”

“These unprecedented observations have greatly enhanced our understanding of what is happening at the center of our galaxy and offer new insights into how these giant black holes interact with their surroundings,” said EHT project scientist Geoffrey Bower.

Coincidentally, “Sagittarius A*” is the subtitle of a song on Arcade Fire’s new album WE (“End Of The Empire IV”). It contains the text: “Sagittarius A/ We’ll see one day/ What’s on the other side.”

The Canadian band was invited to attend a press conference where the EHT presented its findings from the European Southern Observatory headquarters in Germany.

Frontman Win Butler appeared on the show alongside his bandmate and wife Regine Chassagne to perform stripped-down renditions of “End of the Empire IV (Sagittarius A*)” and the title track “WE.”

“It’s almost symbolic to me,” Butler said ahead of the performance. “There is so much we don’t know about ourselves and our planet.

“When I read about Sagittarius A, it just spoke to me as this huge thing at the center of our galaxy that we don’t understand but are trying to understand better.”

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He continued, “The sense of collaboration it takes to get these images – it transcends international borders and is in the common interest of humanity. It is important to look up to the stars to get out of your head.”

After the performance, Arcade Fire shared the black hole image on Twitter. “[It’s] a testament to what we as humanity can achieve together,” Butler wrote. “Maybe ‘We’ll see what’s on the other side one day.'”

He added, “Thank you @ESO for inviting me to the performance, it was an honor.” You can see the performance in the video above at the 1 hour 13 minute mark and see the group’s tweets below.

Elsewhere, Muse frontman Matt Bellamy responded to the image of the black hole as a nod to the trio’s 2006 hit single “Supermassive Black Hole.” “I knew she would show up one day,” he wrote on social media.

Speak with NME For Arcade Fire’s recent Big Read interview, Win Butler said the band hopes to do “the definitive Arcade Fire tour” later this year.

The “WE” world tour kicks off in Dublin on August 30th, with UK and European dates to follow in September. Tickets go on general sale today (May 13) at 10am local time and you can buy them here.

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