M83 live at the Scala

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23 oct. 2008, 18h16m

Wed 22 Oct – M83
When I received Saturdays = Youth in the post, it was with trepidation that it met its first play. The cover promised something entirely different from the glossy blissy bravura of both Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts and Before the Dawn Heals Us. Skinny and exceptionally French hipsters confront you immediately with a kind of sexy ambivalence that says "you're simply not cool enough to like this music". To be honest, I didn't. I'm a sucker for the catch-and-release shoegaze heaviness of Mr. Gonzalez's earlier efforts. This insane retro-pop hadn't got me hooked in quite the same way - until last night, of course.

"Kim & Jessie" stood out from the pack from the first listen. So from my scathing indictment and naivete, this was immediately exempt. Everything else, though, I was really not looking forward to. Then, early on, came "Couleurs", a track that I viewed before as tepid filler. Instead, in a live setting, it was transformed into a beaming, glistening sex anthem. His intentions started to feel laid bare. As the night progressed, despite a static, tossery fashionista behind me announcing his disappointment, affairs got increasingly transcendent, at times peaking on the orgasmic. Despite finding myself with a new found appreciation for the recent material, the old belters stood clear and proud as highlights. "A Guitar and a Heart", "Teen Angst" and "Don't Save Us From the Flames" proved how M83 is essentially done with different, kind of campy, instruments. It was immensely loud, the drums were crisp and human, and guitarist with a tiny face really could rock out. The whole affair was a modest but affecting spectacle of son et lumière, never going over the top, but doing just enough to let you forget exactly where you were.

That's not to say it was perfect. The interludes seemed, at points, ill-advised, and many of the tracks sounded just like each other - perhaps unsurprisingly. Plus, hardly anyone could summon the gumption to move a muscle. Kudos goes out to everyone that did.

A closing note must be spared, though, for the genius of the encore. I have to admit that I have no idea what it was he played, but it goes down as some of the greatest dance music I have ever had the pleasure to get lost in. It sprawled and evolved, a cock-tease of epic proportions, eventually succumbing to an audience's desire to just drop, showering us all with the glory of - wait for it - "dancegaze". You can think a certain WillNewt for that.

Where else could you enjoy metal, trance, 80s pop and shoegaze last night? Fucking nowhere. Be honoured!

Commentaires

  • abandondrugs

    great gig. great review. what the hell was that song in the encore. fucking unbelievable!!! 'dancegaze' - classic. tell nme.

    23 oct. 2008, 23h25m
  • willkill

    It was Coleurs off the new album, the only track that really stood out for me on the first listen.. Good review, completely agree on the new tracks sounding a lot better live. I think they really should have played Unrecorded though, that would have been incredible.

    25 oct. 2008, 10h35m
  • seegoon

    Silly me, thanks. And double yes with Unrecorded.

    25 oct. 2008, 12h44m
  • philsi

    That closing encore was amazing. No questions about it - plain and simply amazing!

    25 oct. 2008, 19h10m
  • PaoloTramezzani

    couleurs was superb, some live bongos might have tipped me over the edge though ^^

    27 oct. 2008, 13h05m
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