Friday, May 11, 2012

Live Review - M83 @ Terminal 5

Remember the 80's cartoon Jem? The one with the all-female rock band playing a bunch of dance / rock songs in front of various bright and colorful lights - yeah that one. While you were watching that show, it probably crossed your mind a few times, "Can lights ever be that colorful? Or that bright?" If you were a curious and constantly questioning kid, that thought popped in your head. Well, flash forward to now and the answer to all of those questions is French shoe-gaze / dream-pop band - M83.

M83 returned to New York City for another round of dates supporting their brilliant 2011, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming and brought with them a show people will be talking about for the rest of this year. As the houselights dimmed, a person dressed as the rather nightmare-ish the creature that appears on the cover of the album walked on stage and slowly raised his hands and built the intensity and anticipation from the audience. Before anyone could realize, the creature disappeared as the band arrived from the wings off-stage. Opening with "Intro," the massive Terminal 5 turned into one of the greatest clubs in the city with the entire crowd moving and shaking as if it was a Saturday night. As the background of strobes and lighting rods beamed across the stage, frontman Anthony Gonzalez would switch between playing his guitar and his massive keyboard / programming set. While his band would get into the music they were making just as much as the crowd was, the sounds M83 were making sounded even more vivid and lush as they do on record. While the band has six albums under their belt, they relied heavily on their 2011 double-album, they still managed to play a handful of songs off their 2008 album, Saturdays=Youth. 

While the crowd seemed to be having the time of their lives, M83 clearly seemed to loving how popular they have gotten in the U.S., especially in New York. Gonzalez would constantly thank the crowd (in both English and in French) and had a smile as massive as his music catalogue on his face all night. While the biggest cheers of the nights came during their smash single, "Midnight City," and the epic closing number, "Coulleurs," M83 sealed the notion that they are more than just one of the worlds biggest buzz bands, but one of the world's best live bands. A club is the perfect environment to see this band, they return to New York for a gig at the Central Park Summerstage in August, but it is their show at Hammerstein Ballroom in the fall that is not to be missed.