Sandwiched in, the crowd waited patiently. Blue lights glowed as the labyrinth-esque creature from the artwork for “Midnight City” took the stage, parallel arms raising slowly as synths enveloped the airwaves. Darkness came again, and the humans that comprise M83 came out opening with “Intro” from their latest album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (live footage below).
Initially I didn’t know what to expect from this show. They had stacked two shows in this past Sunday night after adding an additional show when the original sold out in half a heartbeat. I was attending the early one. Would they hold back? Was the second show going to outdo the first? But M83′s energy and showmanship very quickly percolated through the crowd and dissolved any hesitance first harbored.
The hour plus set was immense to say the least. Each member put so much soul into the performance, they looked as if they were about to literally lose their shit at any second. It was evident M83 was as excited about their music as the fans; watching the musicians’ faces you would have thought it was the first time they’d played the songs, elation at each note bleeding out of every pore. Not even the handful of sound snafus could stop the wall of sound M83 brought to the stage. The artists were as humble and charismatic as they were talented, speaking briefly and playfully to the crowd in their hot French accents.
Holding your ground was a must since the Seattle venue was so packed. While the color-changing, rotating lights and glittering star-scape from the staged blanched the fans’ faces, we were not as free to move as the music commanded. The result? A hell of a lot of head bobbing and personal-space dance parties.
The line-up was extremely well balanced, slow jams mixed with high energy synth-heavy tracks. Favorites from past albums such as “Teen Angst,” “We Own The Sky,” and “Kim and Jessie” mixed with tracks from their amazingly successful 2011 album, the obvious crowd favorite being “Midnight City.” Frontman and M83 originator Anthony Gonzalez cried “the city is my church” and the world melted into his space-rock dreamland. Favorite part? The encore ending with a blistering rendition of “Couleurs” and a reverbed cry of “Seattlelelelelle,” spiraling and invigorating in its complexity.
So, if you have read all of this and are still debating whether to attend an M83 show, I will caution you of two things: one, it’s most likely sold out in the states if you haven’t already gotten a ticket (read: buy one now); and two, it’d be a huge mistake to pass up an experience as organically talent ridden as this one. Do yourself a favor. Go.