Thursday, May 21, 2009

m83 @ the glass house

Wow. I feel like I should be reviewing Wednesday night's show at The Glass House in haiku. Given the dizzying poetics of Saturdays=Youth, it wouldn't be completely out of order. Instead, I'll lead off per WBH usual, complaints that the show was far too short. Isn't it always? However, to M83 lead-man Anthony Gonzales' credit, even with the brevity of the set, clocking in at eight songs and an encore, there was a lot going on.

Although obstinately a solo-project, M83 live is all about chemistry. Gonzales was joined by keyboardist/vocalist Morgan Kibby, who, despite early technical glitches covering much of her early performance, felt perfectly cast for eighties-reminiscent numbers "Skin of the Night" and "We Own the Sky." And, even though a marketed amount of drum machine was also evident, there was, behind a transparent barrier, a real live drummer. His enthusiastic pounding, coupled with Kibby and Gonzales' bobbing and weaving, made for a weirdly hypnotic visual -- the rock equivalent of watching waves crash on the shore. The metaphor of course cracked every time Gonzales stepped to the front of the stage, guitar in hand. While a fan of electronica, I've never been convinced laptops are actually an instrument. (Thus, I'll never be in a rush to buy Girl Talk tickets.) So, while enjoying the bloops and bleeps as much as the next fan (although, probably not as much as the few brave kids dancing like it's 1989), visual and auditory conformation that Gonzales is a proficient and enthusiastic guitar player was welcome.

And here is where your geek-in-residence has a confession to make: Despite previous attempts at fandom, Saturdays=Youth is the first M83 album I've emotionally connected to. Yes, I can see the beauty in previous efforts (I'd score an epic film with anything on Before the Dawn Heals Us). But, it's don't worry, it's not you, it's me. So, even with the grand spectacle of songs like "Teen Angst" and "Sitting" sparking audience clap-alongs, it was the John Hughes-worthy tracks, including epic encore song "Coleurs" that really made my night. And, oh, what a night.

mp3: "Kim and Jesse (Montag mix)" by M83
mp3: "We Own the Sky (Maps Remix)" by M83

No comments: