There are only a handful of shows that I have seen in my life that I would consider perfect. Tonight the stars in Lawrence aligned and created one of those special moments. When I first heard that M83 would be playing the The Granada I was stunned, given the success of their latest release Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming I would have placed that band at a much higher capacity venue. Before my thought was over the show was sold out and many more were left in shock and ticket-less. While I think the band could have sold out a venue double the size of the one they played last night, I’m happy for a chance to see the group in a more intimate environment. The type of environment that will never be replicated again.
Even if you are familiar with Anthony Gonzalez and his band M83, you may be surprised to hear that he has been making music since 2001. While most have only discovered the band recently, all of the hard core M83 fans were treated to a set that included songs from five M83 records only skipping Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts. For those in attendance that only recently discovered M83 their education in amazement did not fall on deaf ears, as there were very few moments that the sold out crowd couldn’t be seen in a form of physical excitement.
For those few fans close enough to their favorite electronic band this excitement was transferred through hugs, kisses, and feet that never touched the ground. One enthused fan couldn’t contain her love through out the 16 song set list and was forced to jump up on stage and engage Gonzalez in a barrage of hugs and kisses. While she was quickly escorted away it was hard to miss the smile on her face as she danced to the music. Most would be frighted by the hordes of eagerly loving fans, but the group never flinched, just absorbing the positivity and using it to take their performance to the next level. At times all the band could do was embrace their loving fans and take a bow to the moment.
Never in my life have I seen this kind of admiration from both a band and their fans. This feeling of overwhelming love was only amplified by the lights enveloping the group. While it sounds mundane to mention lighting at a concert,with M83 the lighting becomes a member of the band. Filled with neon and flashing at a 100 beats per minute the lighting is only soothed by a touch of a midnight sky; the lighting left me awestruck. While at times seizure inducing, one can’t help but get lost in the blast of color. From now on all M83 songs will come with a color memory and I wouldn’t expect any less from a band that based their name on a galaxy 15 million light-years away.
M83 is more than a futuristic name, hordes of adoring fans, and an opportunity to drown in color. They are they reason for all these things and that understanding can be found in their sound. Some may classify their grooves as a throw back to the 80s, but when you take a closer look all you hear is originality. Songs like “Wait” have the ability to shake your inner core and amplify a moment. When you throw that kind of power into a small space and fill that space with people that are ready to let go, it comes as no surprise that the outcome developed like it did. For those in attendance the music will never sound the same and the moment will last forever. If you have the opportunity to see this monumental band live, do so now. Because the next time they come through your town, an intimate moment like this will be even harder to obtain.
Intro– Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
Teen Angst– Before the Dawn Heals Us
Graveyard Girl– Saturdays = Youth
Reunion– Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
Sitting – M83
Year One, One UFO– Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
We Own The Sky– Saturdays = Youth
Steve McQueen– Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
Wait – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
Fall– Tron Legacy Reconfigured
The Bright Flash– Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
Midnight City– Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
Guitar and a Heart– Before the Dawn Heals Us
Don’t Save us From the Flame– Before the Dawn Heals Us
Skin of the Night– Saturdays = Youth
Couleurs– Saturdays = Youth
By Ryan Davis
Photos By Angela Davis