Super Bowl goes indie rock: Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear soundtrack ads

My friends and I just about stood up and cheered when Volkswagen’s big Super Bowl ad aired last night. Not just because we’re fans of Tracy Morgan and Stevie Wonder, who make cameo appearances in the spot, or because we enjoy the immortal sport of punch buggy — but because the ad was accompanied by the bright piano chords and sweetly rising harmonies of Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks,” one of the best singles of last year. Great tune + funny ad = win.

Speaking of Wins, indie rock got some more shine last night from all those NFL promos using Arcade Fire’s 2004 breakout song “Wake Up.” (In a generous gesture, Arcade Fire donated all of the no-doubt hefty licensing fees to Haiti relief.) Who knew the Canadian band’s emotional music would go so naturally with the all-American macho display of the Super Bowl?

Watch the Grizzly Bear/Volkswagen ad again below, then let us know: What was your favorite music moment in last night’s Super Bowl ads?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Super Bowl XLIV halftime show: Were the Who football wizards?
Carrie Underwood’s Super Bowl ‘National Anthem’
Ke$ha did not vandalize the Hollywood Sign, officials confirm. Come on.
Frances Bean Cobain to make recording debut
Kelly Clarkson responds to Taylor Swift’s record-label defense: ‘Take a lesson’


Comments (29 total) Add your comment
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  • Via

    I actually did jump up and ask, “Is that Grizzly Bear”?! My excitement was met by confused glances since none of my friends share my music tastes. I need better friends :-/

    • TheObserver

      Ditto! we do need better friends

      • James

        Arcade Fire is my absolute vrfouaite band! I saw them at Bluesfest in Ottawa last year and flew to Toronto to see them at Toronto Islands last August. I toyed with the idea of seeing them in Europe but couldn’t afford it. This is so amazing to be able to see them in Montreal! I’m from the Eastern Townships originally in fact not far from the church where they recorded Neon Bible! Too awesome! Can’t wait!

      • Sheila

        jhill74893 on September 26, 2009 it sucks to be you. I have seen it 3 times in london and it is ooosoo funny and I hope to see it again

    • j

      I too need better friends! When “Wake Up” played one of them said “Oh, the Where the Wild Things Are song”.

    • me too

      I too need better friends, none of who recognized that song. Kudos to my bf who actually did, but only because he had heard me play it.

  • Dan Patrick

    “Wake Up” is my weekly Friday final segment intro music. It really fills my passion bucket.

    • Megan

      fills your passion bucket? that is great

      • Melanie

        I have numerous vesrnois of this game including the sega ages volum1 version (pal), but the version i play is on MAME. The MS version is the best 8bit conversion and its miles better than the clostophobiacle Atari ST version and thats 16bit.

    • Selin

      I actually had this game with the model 1 SMS back in the day. This game was hard. The fhreatst I got was level 16 and that was using the secret 3 continues. This is one of my favorite SMS games ever.

  • Nick

    Me and my friends hated that they were using Arcade Fire in the NFL ads, we did not think they went well together at all, and thought Arcade Fire was to good to be used like that. Were a little pretentious, I know.

    • richardfoc

      A little?

    • pushrevolution

      Well, Arcade Fire donated ALL the licensing fees for “Wake Up” to go towards Haiti relief because Regine Chassagne’s family has roots there. I like that they are using their fame for good, indie rock or not.

  • MissVampireDiaries

    There’s a band called Grizzly Bear???
    I know Arcade Fire, have all their albums. They should sure rap and pop songs next time, get me in that football mood.

    The Who was so boring, my mom almost cried.

    • @MissVampireDiaries

      Yeah… I know The Who are rock gods and all, but every year I’ve been dissappointed when they announce the halftime show. I’m not downplaying people like Springstein, but really…?

    • Barry

      Boring is good. Much better than seeing Janet Jackson’s nipple clamp.

      • Cassiana

        Headlights Look Like Diamonds I believe that maptixes are the canvas of the passive-aggressive. If I like someone I will search for songs that express my feelings as opposed to saying them. So recently I made a mix for someone I care about and I found the lyrics to be fitting. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out like I had always dreamed but I still hold out hope.

    • Martha

      Yes, there’s a band called Grizzly Bear and they are awesome. I was completely psyched to see the Punch Buggy ad last night – the music went well with the theme too!

    • cjscott

      I thought The Who was pretty good. I’ve always been a little disappointed in the halftime shows for some reason. But I was really happy that there wasn’t a bunch of arm waving robots in front of the stage like there usually is.

  • Ramo

    Loved hearing those two songs used. Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” has strangely turned into kind of an uplifting sports anthem in recent years. Here in Buffalo, it’s been used at Sabres games for a few years now.

  • Barry

    Who the hell are theses bands?

    • richardfoc

      Poor Barry. His google is broke and he can’t find out who the hell these bands are. Bummer for Barry.

      • Stitch

        Hahaha. Don’t be too mean to Poor Barry, a lot of people don’t know how to Google. It’s a surprisingly common ailment.

    • Dan

      Who the hell is Barry?

    • Gene

      Here, why don’t you look at this?

      http://tinyurl.com/y8kntua

  • pushrevolution

    As long time fans of both Arcade Fire and Grizzly Bear it was great to hear them on an internationally huge scale. Arcade Fire’s 2010 release is going to be MASSIVE.

  • Ariella

    Early on, Kasabian’s “Fire” was in an ad for something. I started freaking out to myself.

  • Austin

    Upon hearing “Wake Up” in the Super Bowl Ads, I realized that the Arcade Fire should have performed at the Super Bowl instead of The Who.

  • Amanda

    Despite Wake Up and We Used to Wait having some leirndcbie media associated with them, I am still very fond of Une Annee Sans Lumiere from Funeral- a sad, franglish tune with a driving finish that for some reason reminds me of Quebec City.And not that you asked, but since THE NATIONAL is playing as well, my favorite tune from them Mistaken For Strangers from the Boxer album. Vivid, sharp lyrics and great percussion make for a great song off of my favorite album!

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