Arcade Fire continued their post-Grammy summer-festival victory lap this weekend at New Orleans Jazz Fest, and as they closed out Friday evening’s festivities on the main stage, they invited a special guest onstage for their encore—”one of our all-time favorite artists,” as frontman Win Butler introduced her—Cyndi Lauper.
Butler likely wasn’t exaggerating—the band were covering the song back in 2006, and recently have re-introduced it to their live repertoire, performing the cover in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and using the song for soundcheck in Austin, Texas.
But Jazz Fest was the first opportunity for the band to play with their idol (who had headlined the Fest’s Gentilly Stage the night before). Ever the professional, Lauper came out clapping along, then let Arcade Fire frontwoman Régine Chassagne take the first verse, both to avoid stealing the spotlight and to make sure the monitor levels were such that she could sing her best. No wonder she’s inspired such a wide range of artists, from Arcade Fire to Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj, who also covered “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” for last year’s VH1 Divas Salute the Troops.
After the cover, Lauper stayed onstage with the band, playing lap guitar while vocally harmonizing and punctuating Chassagne’s lead on The Suburbs standout “Sprawl II”: