M83 pack in the electro geeks


I didn't know much about M83 going into Saturday night's show at the Triple Rock, save for a few tracks I'd heard on the Current and a music video that a friend sent me on YouTube. (Their videos, by the way, are quite interesting and seem to feature the same handful of young actors and actresses; I've included my favorite one at the bottom of the post.)

Though the smattering of sullen young indie kids on their record cover would suggest otherwise, M83 actually only revolves around one musician, Anthony Gonzales, who tours with a three-piece backing band. Gonzales took center stage amidst a tangled web of cords and homemade electronics, focusing most of his attention on a translucent, glowing plastic box filled with sound cards and covered with tiny knobs. As soon as they started playing the crowded club was coated in an effervescent, fuzzy feedback that carried through the entire set, with Gonzales' vocals presented as simply another layer in an ever-thickening, dizzying sound.

Though M83's songs are mostly electronic, they weren't necessarily easy to dance to; especially for this sold-out crowd, which was made up of a mind-boggling mix of college students, hipsters and techno geeks. No joke: my concert companion alerted me to the fact that three of our neighboring audience mates were doing The Robot throughout most of the set, while their friend kept his arms spread open in a giant "Y" of band-worshiping appreciation.

By the end of the show, however, everyone on the floor was bouncing up and down, especially during their more radio-friendly songs "Kim and Jessie" and "Don't Save Us From the Flames," including one particularly excitable man who took the end of the set as his opportunity to jump up on stage and lift up his shirt, exposing his large belly for the crowd. The band seemed unfazed by the action, coming back for an encore and a round of thunderous, drunken, and delightfully awkward applause.