Tuesday, November 25, 2008

M83: Starlight Ballroom - Philadelphia, PA (11/15/08)

M83 is one of those bands (yeah it’s now a live band) that you love to throw on a record but never think you would ever catch them live. Kind of like a number of brit-pop acts I enjoyed growing up (Suede I’m looking in your direction). M83 is basically one guy from France (Anthony Gonzalez) that weaves guitar, synths, pounding drum-machines and muted vocals into unreal tracks. There are definitely some additional elements (female backing vocals) but that is basically it in my opinion. That said I didn’t know what to expect when my buddy Chris had given me the heads-up about the show. Result – Unreal live performance. I heard in the recent past that Anthony used to get on stage solo and have everything pre-recorded (aka – it sucked). Not this time – Full on band. The most amazing part for me was the drummer who was incased in a plexi-glass cage in order to amplify the beats and make them more crisp (?) or less drowned out by the other instruments (replicating the sounds on the albums). I only had heard a handful of tracks from the most recent album “Saturdays = Youth” but from what I understand they played most all of them including "Kim & Jessie” and “Graveyard Girl” which were awesome. I “caught wind” of this band back in ’05 or ‘06 (still weird to call it a band) with the “Before The Dawn Heals Us” album. I heard a few tracks on MTV2 late night and I was hooked. Hence, when I heard them start up on tracks like “Don’t Save us From The Flames” or “Teen Angst” at the show I was pretty psyched. Incredible live. (please download every track I've mentioned thus far). The Starlight is a “unique” place to see a show for sure. The crowd was great...from hipsters to hardcore kids…and guys like Chris and myself. I’d like to think of us as “Aging Scenesters”. (applause) If M83 comes to your town please go see them. If not, pick up the last two albums. Haven’t heard any of the earlier stuff (comments welcome). Such a solid show.

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