M83 at Black Cat, Washington DC 11/13/08

Posted November 14th, 2008 by k

“This is so bad! It’s not even music…” cried a drunk, self-proclaimed “Clapton fan” and likely GWU student as the wall of sound from the opener, Run into Flowers, tumbled and faded while the crowd went nuts. I don’t think that unwitting student was prepared for the aural crush of an M83 show, particularly 5 feet from the speakers. To be fair, I wasn’t prepared for the crush, either. In fact, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this latter day electronic Spector. I was secretly delighted to see the drums and guitars on stage upon arrival, having attended many a show where the “band” twiddled knobs from behind a giant kit of electronic equipment (Though, to be fair, Squarepusher puts on a hell of a show from behind his rack). Of course, the requisite rack of knobs and keyboards was indeed present on stage.

Based on the lack of on stage banter and the methodically smooth flow of things, particularly the triggering of samples, the show was most definitely pre-sequenced. Not unheard of and fortunately in this case, not to its detriment. With 4 people on stage all banging away at their instruments (Anthony on both guitar and keyboard/knobs), it was easy to forget there was a script. To say that the songs sounded just like the records would be a disservice, they weren’t simply facsimiles, they were enormous, colossal live instrumentations of their epic recorded companions. Recent hits Kim & Jessie and Graveyard Girl ensconced the audience in their sonic warm blanket of retro reminiscence, inspiring many a couple to embrace within eyeshot. And from the response of the crowd, most were there to hear those two songs. In fact, several tracks from Saturdays = Youth made the cut, as might be expected what with the huge marketing push from Mute, which includes a video contest, a “widget” contest, a re-release of all 5 albums on vinyl, a headlining US tour as well as an international tour with Kings of Leon. (DCist chimes in on the show as well.)


Upcoming M83 shows:
11/15 Philadelphia, PA @ Starlite Ballroom
11/16 Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street Nightclub
11/18 Boston, MA @ Middle East Downstairs
11/19 Montreal, QC @ Studio Juste Pour Rire
11/20 Toronto, ON @ Opera House
11/21 Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
11/22 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
11/25 Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s
11/26 Vancouver, BC @ Richards On Richards
11/27 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
11/28 San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore
11/29 Los Angeles, CA @ Henry Fonda Theater

Tags: concert