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Out of Breath: Air@Metropolis

Posted by Omar / May 8, 2007

20070508_Air.jpgÇa aurait pu être bien meilleur, mais ça aurait pu aussi être bien pire. It could've been a lot better and it could've been a lot worse.

Considering that the dynamic duo known as Air, and the city they performed in on Sunday epitomize a French sensibility, I decided to honor this review with a bilingual opening. Regardez-moi, mama! J'écris le français! (Alright, I cheated and asked one of my co-workers to help me write it...)

Let me elaborate:

Air are a strange group. They seem to have three modes of being. In one incarnation, they are these earnest French music nerds who write gorgeous symphonic pop music channeling the best of Bacharach and Gainsbourg and using every great sound texture from Dark Side of the Moon. You mostly find this on their sublime first e.p. Premiere Symptomes (download Casanova 70, one of the best compositions of the 90s). None of this was present during Sunday's show at Metropolis.

Then there is that sleazy Euro-synth pop sound that made them stars back in 2000. Lispy vocals whispering 'Sexy Boy' through a vocoder and all. Yes, it's fun, disposable dance-floor pop that sounds especially good when you're high as a kite. They played a couple of those songs. I caved, and did my Charlie-Brown-does-the-Twist dances.

And finally there is that annoying, overly vocodered, whiny vocals against lukewarm electro-acoustic bullshit that is most of their repertoire. This dominated their set-list. I felt like I was at a Pink Floyd show in 1971 as performed by the Bee Gees on a bad night. After five songs in a row like this, most of the crowd looked ready for nap-time. All they needed was grape juice and cookies.

The later half of the show picked up with some Moon Safari era grooves. I insist that Kelly Watch the Stars is still a magical piece of sleazy pop. The encore culminated in a jam/freak-out light show that finally demanded audience participation and attention. And then it was over.

So in summary, it could have been great, but it just wasn't. C'est tout.



OJ / May 9, 2007 at 08:34 pm
Bien fait.
Pechorzasol / May 13, 2007 at 07:47 am
Best show of the year.
They gave Montreal the idea how to perform professionally.
Probably you were the only guy, who wanted a juice while the performance and who got kick of the girl on a warm-up.

"Premiere Symptomes" is familiar to a bunch of music nerdz. Guess why? Too amaterish...

Omar / May 13, 2007 at 09:57 pm
"Probably you were the only guy, who wanted a juice while the performance and who got kick of the girl on a warm-up."

Er, huh?

I guess the day that sentence makes sense to me, I will understand why that show was the best show of the year.
Pechorzasol / May 14, 2007 at 06:40 am
The day that sentence makes sense to you, you will understand it's sence.

The AIR is mostly famous for its "sleazy Euro-synth pop sound" and for its "Pink Floyd of 90's like" performance. And the audience got what they wanted, except you, standing in a dark corner of Metropolis and waiting for sound textures from "Emanuelle" or the like. Lucky we were, having none of this crap.
Try to listen something different. For eg. Hillary Duff is coming to the town. She hasn't "annoying, overly vocodered, whiny vocal against lukewarm electro-acoustic bullshit". That's your stuff.
OJ / May 15, 2007 at 11:51 am
Amazing! When is the Hillary Duff concert?
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