Concert Review: M83, May 6th, Sound Academy

Going to a M83 show is like entering a kaleidoscope dream where you don’t want to wake.

With neon fluorescent lighting augmenting a colorful starry night backdrop, the band’s spectacular light show coupled with their super impressive live set made the it completely worthwhile for those willing to risk live and limb heading to the Sound Academy Sunday night. As Sean Bean would say, “one simply does not go to the Sound Academy.”

M83’s most recent album, the double disc spectacular known as Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming was one of the best albums of last year and it seems like many people are catching on, as French band made the jump from the cozy Lee’s Palace to the gigantic Sound Academy in just a span of six months. The sold out all ages crowd ranged from children to older types, which had me thinking that some of the eight year olds in the crowd were definitely much cooler then I was when I was that age.

The band was exceptionally solid from start to finish, vets Anthony Gonzalez, Loïc Maurin and Morgan Kirby were as good as you would expect but new comer Jordan Lawlor was especially impressive as the non stop energizer bunny guitar player. He was all over the stage and added a nice element of surprise to the show.

The set was evenly divided between materials old and new, with classic tracks such as Graveyard Girl, Teenage angst and Sitting making an appearance. In what appears to be a role reversal from most shows, the excited crowd responded more to the new tracks then the old one, an ever clear indication of the band’s relatively new fan base. m83’s songs are a great example of quiet-loud songs done well, and the live show was no exception. The quiet parts, such as the track Wait created a sort of intimacy one normally wouldn’t expect in a crowd of three thousand while tracks like Steve McQueen created a blistering wall of sound that was one of the trademarks of earlier m83 works.

Then there was Midnight City. Arguably my (and most people’s) favorite track of 2011, Midnight City was the highlight of the show for me. As the opening notes of the track played over the speakers, the crowd erupted in a frenzy of excitement. Of course, we were all wondering – what about the sax solo? Would it be pre-recorded (some parts of the concert had pre-recorded bits) or would it be something else. Sure enough just as the sax solo part arrived, a solo saxophone player burst out from the back playing the solo in all it’s gloriousness much to everyone’s delight. Greatest part of the show.

m83’s rise to the top has been a slow journey, but with impressive festival slots and ever increasing concert venue sizes, it looks like m83 has finally arrived. Make sure you are there for the ride.

Set List

Teen Angst
Graveyard Girl
Year One, One UFO
We Own The Sky
Steve McQueen
Fall (Daft Punk cover)
This Bright Flash
Midnight City
A Guitar And A Heart
Skin Of The Night

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

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Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.